Darjeeling Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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From Golden Moon Tea

The land of the dancing mists gives birth to this most precious Indian loose leaf tea. The exquisite balance of fruit, nut and floral notes, with a unique muscatel bouquet make this truly one of the world’s finest.

About Golden Moon Tea View company

Golden Moon is dedicated to offering outstanding, whole-leaf teas of the greatest quality and finesse. All Golden Moon Teas are hand-plucked and meticulously crafted to enhance leaf character, aroma, color, clarity, body, complexity, and above all, flavor.

37 Tasting Notes

85
185 tasting notes

Missy decided we were going to have a darjeeling face off today. We have a little bit left of the ones we bought from Upton, and the one from Golden Moon.

I evidently never reviewed this one before, silly me. Golden Moon refers to this as an ‘Autumnul’ darjeeling from the Makaibari estate. As far as I can tell, Autumnul is a third flush, which is kind of amusing to me for whatever crazy reason. Of the three darjeelings today, this one was the darkest, looks more like standard black tea.

The flavor of this tea is good. If you really like that grape flavor of darjeelings, but don’t want it to overpower (I’m looking at you, TD28!), then this is probably the tea for you. The fruity flavor is prominent, but is a little bit earthier, and co-exists with the tea flavors quite well. It still tastes like I’m drinking a black tea, which makes me happy!

There’s also a sweetness to this tea, actually to most Golden Moon teas that I’ve tried seem inexplicably sweet. Supposedly this is a straight darjeeling, but it wouldn’t surprise me if part of their blending process involved sweetening their teas. Or, as an alternative, they only source teas that are naturally a bit sweeter than others. It’s totally possible (and probably an excellent business strategy, really, since you’re catering to all of us pre-diabetic americans).

Of the eight teas I’ve tried from GM, this is easily the best. It is definitely a solid tea that I would enjoy having around.

The TD60 from Upton gets the nod for darjeeling-I’ll-keep-in-stock. Though, they are distinctly different enough that both could fill out a well rounded tea cabinet. I just happen to want a lot of other teas from Upton kept around, so including the TD60 seems the easier route.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Have you guys tried any first flush darjeelings? I have been so smitten with them lately

Dylan Oxford

I don’t believe we have. The TD60 from Upton is a blend of First/Second flushes… but I don’t know to what extent.

ScottTeaMan

You don’t know what you are missing!! :))

Marcus

For an apples to apples comparison you should try Golden Moon’s 2nd flush Darjeeling.

http://www.goldenmoontea.com/2nd-flush-darjeeling.html

This tea has a much more classic Darjeeling flavor.

Marcus

Also, Golden Moon never adds anything as far as sweeteners to our teas. We just happen to like teas that have a natural sweetness to them!

TeaBrat

I would definitely recommend you try some first flushes someday! =)

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68
260 tasting notes

GM Sampler | Tea 6 of 31

Darjeeling | http://bit.ly/cHh5kY
Toutes les Choses | http://bit.ly/cHWS3X

This tasted like darjeeling, which means that it was bitter for me. Whenever I get a black tea that has this high, sharp, bitter taste to it with a fruity fwip of flavor afterwards, my brain goes to darjeeling now. A former round with a sample of SerendipiTea’s Darjeeling Autumnal from Auggy taught me that if I hit the right parameters [although it could have partially been the tea itself] darjeeling doesn’t have to equal BITTER, but this one had it. It wasn’t as loud as I tend to get with Darjeelings, but it was there.

As it cools, as I’ve come to expect, the bitterness falls back and the sweetness comes forward. Then that grape taste that I’ve come to identify as the muscatel is much more apparent in the tea; not just on my breath or in the aftertaste. I probably would have been tempted to wait and drink the whole thing cooled, but IT IS COLD HERE, Y’ALL.

So the moral of the story is that this was decent, but I won’t be ordering it. I probably should have steeped it shorter to compensate for my apparent sensitivity to bitterness in tea, but I used the packet up and reading the other reviews doesn’t make me think I missed out on anything phenomenal. There’s really not much else to say, as it was relatively straightforward.

[Sorry, I couldn’t resist doing it one time. Here’s the actual Darjeeling picture: http://bit.ly/bIf03p .]

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

lovin’ the pics! And reviews of course…stay warm – and safe!

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

I also notice from some black tea nd darker oolong that when they cools down, the flavor is very different from when they were hot. Sometimes there is more interesting taste when it’s cold. I am still wondering why it is so!

takgoti

@TeaEqualsBliss Thank you! I’m wearing socks to bed!

@Gingko I have no idea if this is true, but I think that for me sometimes when a tea is hot it blocks my tongue from being able to sense flavors. It’s like the heat is metaphorically blinding it to some things, almost. Sometimes the flavors that open up to me when a tea cools aren’t pleasant, though!

Miss Sweet

Love love love the photos!

Heyes

Today i was tasting (am tasting) Darjeelings for the first time with careful tongue, and I just finish saying to my wife what you described – letting the tea sit after brewing brought forward a sweetness.

I love your photos, but seriously… Rick Rolling? There will be vengeance!

http://tiny.cc/Itsover900

takgoti

@Miss Sweet Thank you!

@Heyes Hehehe, if I didn’t do it at least once I’d be a bad geek. I totally thought you were going to reference this http://steepster.com/sophistre/posts/21199#comments and then I clicked.

I LOVE ELMO!!! http://bit.ly/ayOu4S

sophistre

LOL! I thought he was too…

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80
212 tasting notes

I’ve decided I really like Darjeelings. This is the first one I’ve tried, stand alone, so I have nothing to compare it to. Now I have a mission, to find the Darjeeling that belongs in my stash forever.

I though I’d brew this one for just 3 minutes. It isn’t often I find a black that requires more than that for my preferences. I was careful to brew it just before boiling as well for the same reason. I got a medium bodied tea with sweet, creamy notes. Very grape-ish sweet notes. I can taste just a hint of a nutty flavor as the finish. No bitterness or astringency in sight. I think it’s a nice afternoon tea. I think I might want some thing with more body or bite for a wake-up tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

that will keep you busy for a while, check out the Upton tea catalog if you have not already, they have LOTS.

Missy

Thanks for the direction!

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67
382 tasting notes

Golden Moon Sampler Tea #14:
Usual morning (messy), usual method of grabbing first black tea I see. I really like the leaves, all curling around each other, there was just something playful about them. I probably didn’t let it steep long enough, but as I grabbed it on my way out the door it had a pleasant enough golden brown color that eased my worries about ending up with lightly tea flavored water.

Hey so, where does the stress go when you say Darjeeling? DARjeeling? DarJEEling? DarjeeLING? I wanna say it’s the first, but a part of my brain urges me toward the second. Damn you ingrained habits from speaking Polish with your insistence that stress should always be on the next to last syllable!

Anyway, on to the actual taste. This seems pretty mellow as Darjeelings go. Very low (pretty much none really) astringency, an overriding, if somewhat diffident, tea-ness, and a vague sense of fruit and nut in the aftertaste. I am willing to agree that the fruit in question is a grape of some kind, but I couldn’t do so with conviction. I think I kind of like this sort of more laid back Darjeeling…but not enough to spend my hard-earned monies on.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I always say DarJEEling, but I don’t know if that’s how they say it in India. Probably not, I suspect.

Ewa

Everyone should just agree to put the stress on the next to last syllable of all words everywhere in every language. I am pretty sure it’s a necessary step toward world peace.

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71
255 tasting notes

Golden Moon Sampler Number #13 or 14 (The numbers do not matter so much now because I picked out two or three of these to send to Angrboda!)

I liked this tea, but I was not blown away by it. I’ve had some first and second flush Darjeelings that are more memorable; I don’t think that this tea will be memorable. I don’t want to imply that it’s not memorable; drinking it was a good time. But I can find other Darjeelings that I would invest in before this.

Am I becoming a tea snob? I don’t really want to be, but if you drink enough tea willy-nilly one heads towards the realm of making discriminations and being discerning. Golden Moon has done better teas, in my opinion. I also would like to say that their sample package is a brilliant idea and has been one of my best tea money investments. I hope that more tea companies follow this lead in terms of offering a lot of samples without a huge financial commitment. When I am done with this adventure in sampling, I am almost certainly going to place an order.

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec

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75
951 tasting notes

Golden Moon sample No. 24 of 31.

I need caffeine. I went out last night and am going out again tonight. I haven’t done that in… I can’t remember how long. Anyway, fortunately since I pre-drew my last few samples I know that I have a bunch of black teas coming up in the sampler. So I don’t have to expend any energy figuring out what to drink. I can save the energy for tonight.

This one has very attractive leaves. I love the variegated colors of tippy teas. This one has a lot of pretty white tips in it, among leaves that range from dark brown to greenish. The packet indicates that this contains FTGFOP-18 darjeeling. (What’s the 18 mean? I can find info on the number 1 after a designation but not a number other than 1. From what I read, 1 is supposed to me that it is among the finest of its type, so does 18 mean it’s far down the ranks?)

The dry leaves don’t have a strong smell. They’re a little dusky smelling. As is the aroma of the steeped tea. I’m looking for the characteristic “muscatel” fragrance, but honestly I don’t know what muscatel smells like. It does smell a lot like the other darjeelings I’ve had, so I’m guessing what I think of as “darjeeling” smell is actually muscatel. It’s a sharp, dry smell at the top and a dusky, fruity smell at the bottom. The color is a medium brown orange “tea” color.

This is a medium to light bodied, refreshing drink. It’s flavorful without being weighty, and it has a bright texture with being too drying in the finish. I’m a darjeeling n00b, so though I know I like them and I like this one, I don’t yet have enough of a repertoire to compare this meaningfully to others. I gave the only other straight darjeeling I’ve rated, the Tazo bag, a 74. This is better than that, but I wouldn’t put it out of the 70s, so instead of rating it overly high I’m going to bump the Tazo down some.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Rabs

I just spent some time trying to find info on the mystery “18” and my guess is that it’s a typo. I found another typo on a GM sample that made me laugh and then I promptly forgot about it. I’m annoyed that I can’t remember now. I’ll be curious if anyone else knows for sure. :/

__Morgana__

Was it the “claming” aroma of the Tippy Earl Grey? Lol.

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77
186 tasting notes

I AM OVERWHELMED.

I have tea coming out of my ears. Tea tea tea tea tea tea tea. SO MUCH TEA. I literally spent 20 minutes this morning, wringing my hands, pacing the floor like an animal, trying to figure out WHAT exactly I should drink. I’m worried about it going bad, about it getting stale, about it losing flavor. I’m like a woman undone.

Finally, in frustration, I just dunked my hand into the GM sample basket and I pulled this out. There we go! Darjeeling. Okay, fine, I’ll take it, let’s steep this.

So, Darjeeling. I’ve never actually had it. It gets touted regularly as the “champagne of teas” with “muscatel” flavors. Okay, so it’s really good and tastes like wine and grapes. Simple enough.

The leaves on this one are really wiry and long. I wasn’t picking up anything special on the scent. Maybe a bit more fruity than normal? But it pretty much smelled like a basic black. The leaves are really pretty to watch unfurl here; some are quite long.

Finally I had some tea juice in my hands and I was ready to drink. I stuck my nose in the steam of the light infusion (much lighter than I thought it was going to be) and inhaled. Hrm. I feel like I should be one of those snobbish wine connoisseurs and make up stuff. Like, “Oooh, this one smells like freshly tanned leather and pipe tobacco with a hint of animal dung.”

I am probably over-caffeinated right now.

But no, it doesn’t smell like any of those things. In fact, I was just a fairly default black taste. So I was actually pleasantly surprised when I took my first sip of it piping hot. It tasted… different. A bit musky, maybe? Subtle, but deceivingly so, because there seems to be a lot of depth.

I actually liked this a lot better as it cooled a little. Then that infamous “muscatel” flavor came creeping in. I’m not a big drinker of wine (and I like white over red), but this tea had a similar fruity composition. Almost grape-y. There were some basic floral notes, but overall, it was very smooth and sometimes sweet with no astringency. I think I would have preferred it to be a bit more full-bodied. This Darjeeling was actually lighter than I thought it was going to be.

Does it taste like any other black tea I’ve tasted? No. It tastes… like a Darjeeling. I don’t know if this is the best Darjeeling ever, and I don’t have anything to compare it against, but I enjoyed savoring that special fruity component.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
takgoti

I like tea. Teay tea tea. Here it goes down into my belly…

Maybe Auggy sent you some of that Autumnal Darjeeling. Though, I don’t know how much of it she had left.

Auggy

I did! And based on tracking, I think you should get it today? AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE MORE TEA! MORE TEA! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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93
596 tasting notes

Remarkably nutty Darjeeling. Fresh, vibrant. Lingering, almost savory aftertaste on the palate. I can see this becoming my “go-to” Darjeeling: Great on its own, but I’d also imagine that it would be quite wonderful with food.

Recommended.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75
243 tasting notes

GM sampler #24, I know I haven’t been counting, but I know that there are five left after this one…

The aroma of the leaves screams black tea, but not much else. I infused the full sample, five minutes, hot with no additives. Honestly, I was not paying attention, again and realized about two minutes after my goal steep (3 minutes) I had overshot the brew. Oh well.

This tea is pretty good, but then again I like black tea. I also cannot really taste the difference between the different types of black tea because I so often get flavored blacks and then I find it hard to distinguish later on. This like I said is very nice. Not too astringent, not overbearing, has nice body, not too light or too strong. There is a slight twang of bitter at the end of this, I would normally consider than astringency, but because I do not taste it through the entire sip of tea, I do not think it is astringent, I just think it’s a little bitter.

Would be fantastic with some half and half and/or sugar. I think I’ll go do that and repost…

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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87
1112 tasting notes

I made some cold brewed iced tea with this and the last of my River Shannon (sniff!). I forgot to make simple syrup, so I put a nice squeeze of agave nectar in for a little sweetness.

Delicious!!! I am not crazy about hot Darjeeling teas, but I adore them iced. This one made a very complex fruity and floral brew. Distinctive. I’ve not had a Darjeeling quite like this one. I would actually get a tin of this just for iced tea.

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