80

Oh!, I said, after I poured the water on the leaves, and was sniffing the cup on the way back to my desk. Flowers!

What kind of flowers, you ask? A legitimate question, without an adequate answer from me. I can still get the smell of them as I sit here waiting for the cup to cool…but it’s definitely floral. Like standing in a florist’s, and outside they’ve just freshly cut the grass.

As it cools some, that scent is darkening down to something more patently Darjeeling in aroma — a bit floral, a bit honey, a bit grapes on a vine.

The taste is much more pronounced in the honey department than the smell, which makes me happy. I am a big fan of honey (though I never really add it to my tea, unless I’m making chai…because milk and honey are made to go together, of course).

This is quite nice. I’m used to the Darjeelings I’ve tried leaning toward being thin and grapeskin-tart when they’re still very hot, and mellowing and filling out as they cool; this tea is currently just on the comfortable-to-drink side of hot, and it’s mostly honey-sweet, smooth, a bit savory — probably from the full mouthfeel. I keep sipping and looking for new flavors, but it’s remaining pretty consistent, nothing new from one sip to the next. This is alright, though, because each sip is pretty pleasant, surprisingly cozy for a Darjeeling. There’s a very subtle hint of the tartness at the very back of my tongue the longer I sip, but it’s not showing up for the main event.

I don’t drink a slew of Darjeelings, but of those I’ve had, this one is pretty tasty!

I’ll get around to noting steep 2 in a little bit.

(Holy cow, my rating system is a mess. It really needs some janitorial work!)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
sophistre

Oh no!

Steep 2 disaster. :( I got so caught up in making http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/reviews/Belize-Style-Sweet-Potato-Pudding-352370 that I forgot I was steeping tea. :( The second steep is surprisingly drinkable despite being abandoned in the cup for probably just shy of ten minutes (yikes) — I thought it was going to be a bitter mess. It’s not, but it’s flat and one-dimensional. Oops. Next time!

Thomas Smith

Oh noes! Sorry to hear about the missteep.
I rarely drink autumnal flushes because I haven’t found one that contends a 2nd flush nor holds well to successive infusions, usually falling flat. Makaibari produces one of my favorite 2nd flush Darjeelings alongside Margaret’s Hope.

sophistre

I have yet to really sit down with any significant variety of Darjeeling to drink it sequentially, and until I do that I don’t feel very familiar with what’s out there. I’ll certainly make a point to try those when I start (though I think it was probably inevitable, as they seem to be the most widely-discussed single-estate producers of the tea — or is that not so? I see them both mentioned everywhere).

Thomas Smith

Dunno if that’s the case or not – I just know they’re yummy

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sophistre

Oh no!

Steep 2 disaster. :( I got so caught up in making http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/reviews/Belize-Style-Sweet-Potato-Pudding-352370 that I forgot I was steeping tea. :( The second steep is surprisingly drinkable despite being abandoned in the cup for probably just shy of ten minutes (yikes) — I thought it was going to be a bitter mess. It’s not, but it’s flat and one-dimensional. Oops. Next time!

Thomas Smith

Oh noes! Sorry to hear about the missteep.
I rarely drink autumnal flushes because I haven’t found one that contends a 2nd flush nor holds well to successive infusions, usually falling flat. Makaibari produces one of my favorite 2nd flush Darjeelings alongside Margaret’s Hope.

sophistre

I have yet to really sit down with any significant variety of Darjeeling to drink it sequentially, and until I do that I don’t feel very familiar with what’s out there. I’ll certainly make a point to try those when I start (though I think it was probably inevitable, as they seem to be the most widely-discussed single-estate producers of the tea — or is that not so? I see them both mentioned everywhere).

Thomas Smith

Dunno if that’s the case or not – I just know they’re yummy

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Bio

Ohhh, I dunno. I like tea but I’m kind of a tea newbie. At this point I can say with authority that I may never be anything else, no matter how many teas I try…there is always something new out there.

I write a lot.

I also play way too many video games.


Ratings! (Bout time, wot?) This is a new arrangement, so…subject to change!

1-10: Not potable. First-sip disasters.

11-30: Intensely unpleasant…won’t catch me finishing the cup.

31-50: I really don’t like it…but maybe somebody else out there would.

51-70: Drinkable, but probably not the first thing I’m going to reach for.

71-90: Pretty good tea, and stuff that there’s a good chance I’ll have on-hand. Will do in a pinch at the low end, all the way up to regular visitors to my infuser on the high end.

91-100: Teas I really do not want to be without.

Location

Boston/Cambridge

Website

http://sophistre.tumblr.com/

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