This is the only second flush I purchased from Thunderbolt Tea on New Years’ Day. I guess it was a Christmas gift. It has been probably over a year since I’d had a 2nd flush Darjeeling, so I was really looking forward to this one. On Thursday I decided to cup this tea.
When I open the bag, I always inhale the leaves’ aromas and I got almonds coming through in the dry leaf, but there was something else. Was my nose deceiving me? I thought I smelled mild chocolate-like notes, but wasn’t sure because I had never smelled a Darjeeling with this characteristic. I also thought the leaf smelled dry and musky. The dry leaves looked pretty- medium and dark brown leaves with white tippy leaves too.
The cup was a medium brown with a fruity aroma. I wasn’t sure if I was true, because the night before I had a FF Darjeeling (while watching an Indian movie, and I can’t remember the name). Anywho, the FF Darj I had was crisp & fruity, and I thought I was getting some of that in the nose, since I only rinsed my cup with very hot water the night before. After letting my tea cool a bit, I tasted, and found this Risheehat did have a fruity nature, and a nutty quality on my palate as well! I don’t know why but I always seem to get almond qualities with second flush Darjeelings. When I let the tea rest on my palate, I got a good balance of nuttiness and fruitiness in my mouth. When I swished the tea around my mouth the almond qualities prevailed. Very delicious, mouth watering, and IMHO not overly tannic at all.
Still I wanted to do a second tasting after washing my cup and infuser. Plus, I had burnt my tongue eating hot soup—man I hate that!—and I wanted to let my tongue heal so I could perhaps get a better sense of the tea. :)) I also read the description of the tea on their website before my second cup. I don’t usually do that because I don’t want it to taint or overtly influence my description of the tea experience.
The following night, I again smelled the dry leaf aromas. Yes the almonds were there, and it was caramel I was smelling in the aroma! Not so much chocolate, but definitely caramel notes! This was a first for me with regards to 2nd flushes. :)) Again, reading the desciption didn’t influence me here, it just helped me be more accurate in my review.
One thing I forgot to mention was the aroma of the wet leaves, of which the fruity/nutty aromatics carried through nicely here. The dry leaves must have been well twisted because upon expansion they were very large, and you could see the different shades of brown and tippy whites in the wet leaves.
My tongue was nearly completely healed, so on to the tasting. Aahhh, the sweet fruit aroma was there again-very nice! I have never smelled or tasted such a fruity 2nd flush before. Again, very well balanced with the nutty aspects here. I was not getting any caramel or chocolate in the cup aroma or taste, but may at a longer steep time and temp.
A very sweet, delicious cup, that is well balaced and not overly tannic, at least for me, when brewed by the info noted here. Well worth it! I only wish I’d bought more. ://
Cupped: Thurs & Fri, January 26 & 27, 2012.
Reviewed: Sunday, January 29, 2012.