84
drank Darjeeling No. 37 by Kusmi Tea
403 tasting notes

I had low expectations for a bagged Darjeeling, even as nice a bag as Kusmi provides, so this was a very pleasant surprise. Maybe I just got lucky and steeped it properly, but this is a fine and delicious example of what a Darjeeling can taste like. Light but full-flavored, very aromatic with that fruity/winey/muscatel flavor. There’s just enough astringency to make it refreshing without being bitter.

If it’s consistently this good (and I didn’t just get lucky with the steeping parameters) I may even pick up a tin of this! Darjeelings aren’t my usual, but it is nice to have one or two black teas on hand that go well without milk.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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