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 one of...” 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 the...” 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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DarjeelingNumi Organic Tea
DarjeelingHiggins & Burke
DarjeelingFortnum & Mason
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…
I bought this tea on a whim from a local Food City store. I tend to have a sentimental attachment to Twinings products and I like Darjeeling teas, so I figured that this is one I should try.
After trying this tea in a couple of different preparations, I can safely say that I like it. The tea displays delicate aromas of honey, earth, straw, and wood. In the mouth, I detected delicate flavors of wood, straw, honey, and earth underscored by a subtle bitterness. On the finish, earthy notes linger while bitterness and astringency become more pronounced. Additions of milk and/or sugar tame the bitterness and astringency and allow the honey notes to really shine through. Subtle fruitiness and caramel sweetness also emerge.
Honestly, I don’t get the low reviews for this tea. Sure, it’s not the most complex Darjeeling in the world, but its straight-forward, unassuming nature is rather appealing. All in all, I find this to be a very thin, light-bodied tea that is super approachable. I also think one has to be realistic with their expectations when approaching this tea and review it for what it is. Twinings Darjeeling is not going to compete with super premium loose leaf Darjeelings from smaller companies and that’s fine because it’s not meant to. This is a readily available bagged Darjeeling that you can get for around $3 from most retailers. For what it is, it really is far from bad.
Flavors: Astringent, Biting, Bitter, Earth, Honey, Straw, Wood
I was somewhat disappointed in this tea. I expected more flavours and spices but instead it was too similar to a standard black tea. Not bad but definitely not great. Perhaps Twinings played up the ‘exotic quality’ of the tea which may have partially dashed my hopes.
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.