I picked up this tea in a hurried trip round Fortnum & Mason, post obligatory ice cream parlour visit – lovely!
The tea section, although very similar to the great Tea Emporiums of Europe, is a little smaller in size, but has a subtley different range available compared with others (see Tea Palace or Mariage Frères) which therefore makes it a bit of a treasure trove – this occasion I was on a hunt for a lovely Oolong, as my cupboard was sorely lacking. I simultaneously purchased this tea and Formosa Poochong Oolong Tea.
How to brew?
Well, don’t over do it – don’t add to many leaves as this this stuff is £200/kg !! – and also don’t brew too long, it really does go quite bitter and unpleasant in my opinion, and I believe it should be a light green-brown, not the dark brown I get the times I forget how quickly this brews! I would say 2mins, then check it, then brew further to taste. And brew off the boil, just say 90-95 degrees.
What about the taste?
Lovely, quite rich and filling, I prefer this one late afternoon, it’s too heavy for during the day – although it could also be an “unwind” tea for the evening. Because it’s an oolong it does have more, shall we say, “meat” to it, than my usual light coloured teas, it has a wonderful dusty burned feeling, both in the raw spirally leaves when they come tumbling out of the packet, and in the taste, like you can feel where it’s been before it made it to your tea cupboard!
It has got some sharp notes, like a sort of citrus flavour, and then the after taste can be a bit like bitter lemon, if like me you brew it a minute too long by accident (which I seem to do every time I brew this after not brewing it in a while!).
Simply that although the tea is expensive (£10 my 50g cost me!), the leaves are re-brewable – you could easily get 3 out of it, and each one would taste different, but also the leaves are large and light, so the bag came to the same size as the 125g I bought of Formosa Poochong.
I am going to rate this as good, not at the very top of tastiness, simply because it can be hard to brew (and that is subjective to personal taste anyway) and because it’s very expensive but as enjoyable as my other oolong, which is more flowery.
Castleton Moonlight Darjeeling Oolong
This limited edition oolong is based on the style of a Formosa Oriental Beauty with long twisted leaves and white furry tips.
As you would expect for a Darjeeling tea, this has a wonderfully fragrant flavour, yet is mellow with no hint of astringency.
Leaf and liquor: Long twisted leaves and white furry tips.
When to Drink: Any time of day
Origin: Castleton estate is located near Kurseong in Darjeeling region in the north of India.
Brewing Information: Best brewed at 80°for a couple of minutes and drunk with no milk. Can be infused several times.
Storage advice: Airtight container, preferably a tea caddy