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195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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From Whittard of Chelsea

To taste Darjeeling is to taste the landscape where it is grown. Intermittent rain, sun and moisture-laden mists nurture the century-old tea gardens in the landscape that inspired Rudyard Kipling to craft his stories. The smallest shoots, still covered in dew, are picked by hand at first light to deliver one of our finest teas.

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22 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

I was contacted by Whittard of Chelsea and was asked if they could send me some teas to try and review. I usually say no to these types of requests, but I was absolutely delighted to accept some teas from this venerable tea merchant! On Saturday I got a “Knock! Knock! Knock! Delivery from the UK!” at my door — it was the tea! Thrilling! I tore open the package to find three beautiful full-sized loose teas.

I’m one of the few Darjeeling fans here on Steepster. I adore the muscatel flavor — so I was happy to see this tea in the package, and chose it as the first tea to try. I decided to take it with a little sugar “like the Germans.”

It’s delightful. Divine muscatel and a delicate but rich tea flavor. It’s a lighter tea — so perfect for the steamy day — but very flavorful. I drank it at work and had to pause for a moment to let the flavor wash over me. The wineyspicy muscatel, distinctive and delicious, was just so good. The sugar made it round and sweet without any of the astringency I usually find in a Darjeeling, but I took my second steep sans additions and there it was — a little piquant pucker. Love.

I was able to enjoy three steeps, the last one drank cool, which makes me think this would be a great fancy iced tea for a party (the color is a gorgeous amber – I could just picture it in a clear glass pitcher).

What a perfect introduction to Whittard of Chelsea — I am so, so pleased to meet you!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

That’s awesome that they made an offer like that!


Sounds lovely—I adore darjeeling too (and scratched my head a bit when I joined Steepster at how unloved it is here, ha). I like how lighter ones are indeed good on steamy days—what a nice way of putting that!


I’ve never tried Darjeeling with sugar. Hmmm…that needs to be remedied.


gmathis – I had gotten some Darjeeling at my local tea shop and the owner said “You should try it with some sugar — like the Germans!” and now every time I have some I hear her saying “like the Germans!” and I picture millions of Germans in lederhosen putting sugar in their Darjeeling and I just can’t help but put it in myself! Like the Germans!


Well, I come from good solid German stock (on one side, at least; I’m a mutt on the other), so I’ll just have to get to it. (Suddenly I’m hearing a polka band soundtrack….)


ifjuly — I wonder if it is because I’m a wine lover too. All I know is that I love them and will eagerly seek them out :)


I’m a huge Darjeeling fan and I also like muscatel flavor. I like it a lot actually.
Just purchased some really great Darjeelings from Butiki Teas. Any particular Darjeeling that is your favorite?


inguna – Right now I’m loving Junpana FF Darjeeling from the Golden Moon Insider Tea Club. It’s a first flush but it tastes like a strange and delicious hybrid of a first and second flush to me — sweeter and less green but very vibrant.

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1328 tasting notes

Huh, I thought I had posted about this…

I’ve definitely had it before.

Anyway, as many of you may already know, I don’t actually care much for Darjeeling. I find it too finicky to brew and too prickly and grassy in flavour. I honestly don’t understand all the Darj. hype. I can only imagine that once upon a time somebody somewhere did some excellent marketing.

So when I was given 100g of this along with 100g of EG (sigh), it was accepted with as sincere a smile as I could muster and a secret thought that it would be exclusively for the husband, as he doesn’t dislike it as much as I do.

For the sake of thoroughness and openmindedness and what have you, I did try a cup of it though. This is the one I thought I had posted about, but apparently hadn’t. I wouldn’t say I particularly enjoyed it, but it wasn’t totally offensive either. I think I would say it was probably worth around 70-75 points, and drinkable. The things that I dislike about Darjeeling weren’t standing out so much.

This may be a question of leaf quality. The bag has no information on it at all regarding origin, so I assume we’re talking about a blend of several estates. This also makes me suspect that it’s a somewhat lower leaf quality than the FFs Darj-lovers happily shell out small fortunes for every year. The bag doesn’t even have any information regarding leaf grading on it.

So hot, it turned out surprisingly drinkable.

On a whim I tried putting some in the fridge for a cold brew last night and I have tasted the result this morning. It’s quite weak in flavour with a smidge of that prickly grassyness that I associate with Darj and don’t much care for. However, in a cold brew it doesn’t seem to bother me as much, probably because the flavour of the tea itself is so very, very delicate.

I wouldn’t say it was like drinking a glass of cold brewed tea really. It doesn’t really taste like something that is easily identified as tea unless you know about it. It’s more like drinking a glass of cold water with just a little bit of flavouring to it to make it interesting to drink. Not very different from how you can make a jug of ice water more intersting and refreshing to drink by tossing in a slice of lemon.


Like you, I always find First Flush Darjeelings a disappointment and can’t understand the hype. I have to say that I’ve had some enjoyable Second Flushes, though. It might be worth not giving up on them quite yet. Well, except for that cut grass\new-mown lawn note, perhaps – that does seem to be a fairly regular flavour note and if you particularly dislike it …


Yeah, I can’t get to terms with that grass note really. But this one works in a cold brew, and if Darj will consistently work in cold brews, then there’s hope for me yet. :)

I suppose I just prefer a more grainy flavour profile in my black tea.


By the way, I haven’t been around much for the last few weeks, so, here’s a belated congratulations and best wishes for the future to the both of you.


Thank you. :)

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767 tasting notes

i have a great idea! let’s drink lots of tea and then go to the gym and pee every 10 min.
thanks traveling tea box!

(it’s a nice enough darjeeling really. i like it!)

Terri HarpLady

That’s why my ‘gym’ is a yoga mat & a bunch of free weights in my bedroom, LOL.


Brilliant idea!

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2241 tasting notes

Another from Momo’s teaboxB! thanks everyone! The Lochan Darjeeling I drank the other day really spoiled me with the most delicious Darjeeling I’ve tried. This one isn’t quite as good, but I like it! It has the “Darjeeling” flavor but it also seems a bit watery if that makes sense. The Lochan had a lovely full Darjeeling flavor. If I had tried this one first, I might have liked it better. Also, there seems to be more Darjeelings in the teabox than other plain black teas. But I will fix that! haha.

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615 tasting notes

Tea #5 from HHTTB2

According to my friends, I may be insanely picky about my Darjeelings (PFFFT who am I kidding I absolutely am), but even without that kicking in, these leaves don’t look nearly as nice as what I’m used to. There’s also no information on their website regarding origin, so I’m guessing that this is a blend of several estates.

All that said, this turned out okay.

I used my typical Darjeeling parameters (below) and was greeted with a really delicate cup that wasn’t particularly Darjeeling-y. It has that lovely, kind of grapey-fruity, subtley earthy smell, delicately floral smell that I love, but the taste wound up being too much floral with a touch of earthiness and a metallic twang. This would actually be a good Darjeeling for people who don’t like Darjeelings, because the flavor is so light.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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6770 tasting notes

While this isn’t my favorite Darjeeling I am going to rate it higher than most on this specific tea. I don’t think it’s that bad. It’s not overly memorable but it’s tasty. It’s a nice standard Darjeeling to have in your stash to share with anyone anytime of day! It’s slightly crusty and slightly misty with a bit of satisfying astringency. A fair Darjeeling!

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313 tasting notes

Hellooooooooooooooo baby. I don’t know what it is, but this is totally hitting the spot today. I totally didn’t time how long this steeped for, but yeah. It’s light and lovely.

This tea pairs especially well with hoovering an entire bag of bbq popchips and bingewatching Archer before going to work. Yeah, perfect.

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200 tasting notes

I really have to be in the right mood for darjeeling, especially a poor quality teabag one like this. I’m not often in the right mood for this tea, but I’ve had it at work a bit, and that’s ok. I can’t really complain, because it’s teabag darjeeling and it’s not meant to be top of the range. So by that score it’s not at all bad. Just don’t expect a MightyLeaf taste or anything like that

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1060 tasting notes

I made this after breakfast so I could just sit and enjoy. I realized while I was sipping that this tea reminds me of muscadines. More to the point, it reminds me of the large bronze muscadines my grandpa grows on this farm. It is the earthy note combined with the muscatel one that does it. My grandparents also grew zinnias for a while, so the floral note in this tea combined with the other notes really took me back to the days when my grandpa would hand my sisters and I buckets and tell us to, “head on out to the vine.” I loved picking fruit on his farm because he’d tell us stories or let us talk his ears off about all the things that little girls find important. My parents would come out and help us move step stools so we could get the fruit at the top of the vines. Then, when our buckets were full, we’d take them into my grandma, and she’d turn them into muscadine jelly. Now that I’m grown and make jelly of my own I appreciate all of the work she did so much more. While she and my mom were working in a steamy hot kitchen my grandpa and dad would take my sisters and I swimming at the creek, so we’d come home to lots of jars of pretty jelly lined up on the table. It seemed magical to me, and I guess in a way it was.

Happy memories. Lovely tea. Not a bad start to a Sunday.

Here is the Wikipedia page for muscadines if you haven’t heard of them before:

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Such lovely memories to have – its nice that this tea reminds you of that! :)


Thanks! I’m sure I’m looking at them through the patina of time, and there was probably a fair bit of whining from three girls who thought it’s too hoooot out here, but it still makes me smile.


This tasting note is perfection.


Such a lovely review, such happy memories to cherish…i love memory associations with tea, I get them all the time, that’s why tea is so much more than a just a plain beverage. I never had those Haha moments when I used to drink coffee, lol!

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83 tasting notes

Rich, smooth. Very nice, lots of depth.

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