Back in 2015 when I was just getting into tea, I picked up 100 g of a Singell first flush Darjeeling from what was then Golden Tips Tea and was blown away. I’ve been plotting to get my hands on another one ever since. Judging from the previous seven-year-old tasting note, Camellia Sinensis carries this regularly. I steeped about 1.5 teaspoons of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 200F for 3.5 and 5 minutes.

This is definitely a first flush tea. I get strong herbaceous notes (thyme?) backed by sap, minerals, and light florals. There’s no muscatel or other fruit. Although the range of flavours is small, this tea is exceptionally smooth and balanced and has little astringency. The second steep is almost as good as the first.

Though it didn’t live up to my transcendent experience with Singell in 2015, this is a very nice first flush Darjeeling, especially for those who like their teas on the greener side. Despite not being able to pinpoint all the flavours, I’ve had it four times in the past week or so, which is unusually consistent for a leafhopper like me. However, the Thurbo Darjeeling, with its muscatel flavours, is more my style, and I wish I’d bought more of it instead. I should just accept that I prefer later-invoice first flushes and second flush Darjeelings, in spite of the cachet of early-invoice FFs.

Flavors: Floral, Green, Herbaceous, Sap, Smooth, Thyme

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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