Can get a bit bitter. It’s just OK.
“Aha! Sipdown! Its gone now! Whee!” Read full tasting note
“I had this tea this morning with my hospital cafeteria breakfast (which was filling and delicious, despite the fact that the cook seemed to think that a cabbage leaf was an appropriate garnish for...” Read full tasting note
“Last night I was opening some teabags and dumping the leaves into my big bag of dried, used leaves. It was disturbing. So for some reason I decided to do the oatmeal thing again but with...” Read full tasting note
“Backlogging from Vacation #5: This was the last vacation tea I had. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel and they had this for breakfast. I had to put a creamer of half-and-half in mine to cut...” Read full tasting note
The light golden black tea from the foothills of the Himalayas is considered the champagne of all teas. Expertly blended with a delicate and unique character that is likened to the Muscatel grape.
Darjeeling teas are grown in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in northeast India. The high altitude, soil and climate of the Darjeeling plantations contribute towards the unique and delicate taste of this tea. Twinings Darjeeling uses the finest first and second flush teas (those picked in the spring and summer) in this blend. Darjeeling is often regarded by connoisseurs as one of the finest teas. Darjeeling is best drunk black or with a touch of milk.
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DarjeelingFortnum & Mason
DarjeelingNumi Organic Tea
DarjeelingHiggins & Burke
DarjeelingThe Spice and Tea Exchange
This is the only tea you will ever see me time the brewing of precisely. I’ve admittedly ruined many a cup by forgetting to set a timer for 5 minutes, and employing my usual “make it, set it down to cool to a drinkable temp, and walk away, sometimes forgetting it for upwards of 20 minutes” method. Beyond 5 minutes, it gets so bitter as to be utterly unenjoyable. But, at 5 minutes, it makes a good cup.
And this is about my 4th cup of tea today. It’s just been THAT kind of day, apparently…
This is without question the most bitter thing I have ever put in my mouth. I’m very sensitive to bitter flavors, and this one was just too much. The bag smelled like maté, a Chilean beverage which tastes like alfalfa and tire treads, but the tea turned out to be much more bitter than maté, which I didn’t think was possible.
I took the first cup straight, and steeped it for only 3 minutes because it smelled so strongly. That first cup practically ate through the lining of my stomach. I steeped the next cup for only 2.5 minutes and I added milk and sugar, which did not cut the bitterness at all. For the third cup I tried honey, but I just couldn’t make it drinkable.
I took my wife out to breakfast for her birthday yesterday, and we went to a great place downtown called Smiley’s. I placed my food order (sausages and fried ripe tomatoes—delicious), and was about to skip getting tea (last time we went, my mom got tea, and I seem to recall it being served in one of those leaky metal teapots that I used to hate when I worked in food service). I saw that they had a selection of Twinings, including Darjeeling, so I ordered a cup. I was happy to see them pull out a ceramic teapot (it was a rather unique-looking one, with a large spout and flattened sides). The water they used wasn’t boiling—it came from a hot-water tap—but it was very close, and I was able to time the steep, since I watched them pour the water. After a 4-minute steep, I removed the bag from the pot, and drank the tea without any milk or sugar.
I was really pleasantly surprised! Although it lacked the grape-skin flavor (which I’m informed is properly called “muscatel”) that I had experienced in other Darjeelings, it had a very pleasant taste. It was sweet and smooth, with pretty much no bitterness. I caught hints of “Darjeeling” flavors which I can’t quite isolate, but seem to have been present in all Darjeelings I’ve had. So, while this isn’t a high-end first flush hand-selected full-leaf Darjeeling, it’s an excellent cup of tea, especially when you want something without any milk or sugar. After my box of Stash Earl Grey is used up, I may buy a box of this to be my work tea.
I don’t know what everybody means when they say this tea is bitter. I think it’s light and fragrant and fruity. If tea were a wine, this would be it.
I taste grapes and flowers. It’s almost like a white tea in its delicacy and mouthfeel. I only steep it for a few minutes, because that’s all it needs.
Flavors: Flowers, Grapes
First cup was wonderful, second cup was not so great, by the third I’d decided this particular tea was just not for me. I have no idea why I grew to dislike it, or why it happened so quickly, but I just did. I will say that this particular tea does NOT handle abuse well. If the water is too hot, or you accidentally steep for too long you will end up with one hell of a bitter, astringent, mess on your hands. At least that was my experience with it. I still have the majority of a box of this but I’ll likely be getting rid of it somehow before long, even if that means having to throw the stuff away.