This review is for the 2010 lot of this green Darjeeling, while the picture is of the 2011 lot, but the leaf is very similar. Very long green & white well twisted leaves that smelled light and airy, fruity, and dare I say creamy. Wet leaves smelled woody and as they cooled, they were alot more fruity smelling. They also unfurled to beautifully large whole leaves, some having brown edges.
The cup color was a medium yellow and had a sweet, lightly fruity nose, but I can’t place the fruit. The flavor is so sweet and smooth in my mouth, with a light fruit, creamy quality. I like it alot. Ssooo delicious and very relaxing. I’ve read that the fruit notes are pear-like, but I wasn’t getting that at all! Then again I’m not a big fan of pears, so I don’t smell or eat them very often.
My second steep on Thursday morning (same leaves), was steeped at roughly the same temperature for 3 minutes. I was still getting smooth creaminess and fruity aspects, but the fruit that seemed to come through was grapes. Not the sweeter red grapes, but green, which tend to be less sweet and sometimes sour IMHO. :)) I was getting some tangy qualities on my tongue-but not bitter. Darjeeling teas are sometimes compared to muscat grapes. I could definitely taste that quality here.
Last night I decided to brew this tea closer to brewing guidelines at 180 degrees for 3 minutes. I dozed off waiting for my tea to cool and woke up with cold tea. I drank it and realized this could be a good iced green tea. Using more leaf, a cold brew in the refrigerator overnight would be quite tasteful! So after midnight I had one more hot cup, adding additional leaves and steeping for two minutes. It was quite smooth and creamy and fruity and delicious!
This is a mild tea, so the qualities I mention above are not strong, but never lacking in flavor. This Darjeeling green tea is is unque tea, and I would have to say, just as good (if not better), than many Chinese green teas! Every green tea lover should try it at least once. :))
Cupped: Wednesday-Friday, February 1-3, 2012.
Reviewed: Friday, February 3, 2012.