Today we have Della Terra Teas’ Organic Makaibari Darjeeling, a black tea hailing from the Makaibari Estate in West Bengal, Darjeeling, India. This specific Darjeeling is a FTGFOP Autumn Flush, or Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (or Far Too Good For Oridinay People, because tea drinkers are full of wit) that ridiculously long winded (or short acronym) term refers to the grading system set up back in the day, with some debate by Sir Thomas Lipton. The aroma is sweet and muscatel, with a bit of a sharp leafy aroma, similar to that of grape leaves and oak wood. It is mild and pleasant, an enjoyable sniff that is reminiscent of nature and plants and a slight sweet finish of raisins.
Once the tea has been brewed, the wet leaves are much lest muscatel and more brisk. The aroma of oak wood is more prevalent, and there is a touch of loam as well. Have no fear, I found all the muscatel sweetness, it is in the liquid. The liquid has a great aroma of fresh grapes and raisins with a drizzling of honey. There is a tiny undertone of brisk oak wood, but you almost have to stick your nose all the way into the teacup to notice it. (Note, I do not recommend this, from experience, it is a good way to get a singed nose and tea in one’s sinus cavities.)
Tasting time, I am excited, I have come to greatly love Darjeelings, especially after I learned that boiling the tea leaves will give you a cup of gross. That was a great lesson to learn about a year ago! I know, with every Darjeeling I review I have to mention the ‘do not boil’ thing, I do this because for years bad tea instructions had me believing that Darjeeling was bitter death and all those people who tasted sweetness and grapes were bonkers. The taste of this tea is deliciously mild and muscatel with notes of freshly mown hay and new vegetation. This fades to a rich, brisk, oak wood taste that really wakes up the mouth (and the me.) After this burst of wood it fades to a honey sweet raisin that that lingers as a delightful aftertaste.
Flavors: Hay, Honey, Loam, Muscatel, Oak wood, Raisins