I still have a hard time rating Darjeelings, and preparing them for that matter. I have pretty good luck treating them as oolongs, using more leaf and less time; prepared that way I find them more drinkable and less bitter (than steeping them like black teas).
This one is really pretty though, the dry leaves are all multicolored – a black base, with lots of rusty brown and occasional golden and green bits. I’m definitely getting the fruit/spicy flavor that I think is muscatel, and this is smooth enough to drink plain. I do like this better than the two Darjeelings I’ve had from Adagio, but I’m not sure I’d pick it over a well-liked black or oolong :( The second steep was a little weak, so for a third I think I’ll leave it for 5 minutes and just add milk if it’s too bitter.
ETA: And, I really like that last steep with milk. It doesn’t taste like black tea, but it’s not too weird, either. Sweeter, creamy, makes a good afternoon pick-me-up.
1.25g, 3.5oz water, steeps 1:30, 2:30