Yesterday morning I excitedly steeped up the newest black tea in my cupboard. If asked, I wouldn’t be able to remember having ever had a darjeeling. Yet oddly, I seem to have the idea in my head that I don’t care much for darjeelings.
The Dry Leaves — Black, brown, reddish tan, and muted green. Small, some straight, some curled. The smell is black, paper, airy, slightly floral, and a bit of fresh raw olives. Good.
The Wet Leaves — Brown with a few being olive green-brown. Larger than I’d have expected. The smell is very faint, sweet, papery, black tea.
The Tea — Rich golden brown. The smell is light but floral, sweet, papery, musty, black tea. The dry leaves definitely had the strongest more complex smell. The taste is sweet deep floral in the front through the middle. The middle brings a round solidness which is stronger and full with just a hint of sharpness but not at all floral. This follows through to the end of each sip. I don’t really know what to compare this taste to but it’s good. Overall, this tea is just lovely.
This tea instantly reminded me of A&D’s Napal. I don’t know if Napal is a darjeeling or not. I might guess so after having this tea. The floral quality to them is very similar. I think I like this tea better than Napal, but time will tell for sure. This tea seems to have more to it.
I went with 4 minutes for the first steep and the tea was definitely strong enough. I might try 3 minutes 30 seconds and 4 minutes 30 sec to see if I’d prefer it weaker or stronger then head in that direction. But I think 4 minutes will be a perfectly acceptable steep.
2nd steep: 6 min.
On the first few sips, I thought it was too weak and I’d need to add a pinch of fresh leaves to get a second steep from it. As the tea cooled a bit, I realize this was not the case. Yes, it is weaker than the 1st steep, but it still has enough drinkable flavor to stand on its own.
I am rating Darjeeling Goomtee a 78, on the high end of good (60-80), the same as Napal. I suspect the rating on one of the teas will be moved a few points after I’ve had more of this tea or tasted them closer together. I also suspect this tea will end up the higher rated of the two.