Golden Tips Teas IndiaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a first flush Assam from Golden Tips Tea, picked in March 2014 on the Harmutty Tea Estate. I’ve only tried one first flush Assam in my life before, so I’m interested to see how this one compares. The leaves are fairly small and wiry, mostly a uniform black-brown, but with some lighter (milk chocolate) brown leaves scattered throughout. The scent is heavily malty, with a moderately strong spiciness. I used 1 tsp of leaves for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
To taste, this is the mildest Assam I’ve tried for a while. It doesn’t lack flavour, but it seems somehow softer and more gentle on the tastebuds, unlike some of the very punchy, tannic Assams I’ve been drinking recently. It’s sweetly malty, and there’s still a bit of a kick lurking there, though. Golden Tips do some of the maltiest Assams I’ve come across yet, and this one is no exception! A wonderful treacle-like flavour emerges in the mid-sip, maybe not quite as deep a flavour as molasses, but along those lines. The aftertaste is remarkably savoury after the intensity of the malt, veering more towards potato or yam like notes. This is a very smooth tea, very easy to drink, and makes for a good mid-morning pick-me-up.
I like the variation it’s possible to find between Assam from one estate and Assam from another. It’s like there’s one for all seasons, and for all times of the day. I’ve been impressed with those I’ve tried so far from Golden Tips – it’s certainly a site worth checking if you’re looking for a new Assam, or for another Indian tea. The 10g sample size is enough for 3 or so cups, and is just perfect for trying something new! I’ll certainly be looking to repurchase a selection of their Assams in the future, and maybe to broaden my horizons still further.
I figured when I saw this in the wonderful package KS sent to me that I would have a good chance of liking this one. Second, summer, autumn flushes – those are what I like in a Darjeeling.
This is very nice. It’s strong. Musty like the white film on grapes. It wouldn’t be my favorite but it’s certainly a very good example of the flush and type. It doesn’t beat my beloved Sungma but I’m still looking for its equal. :)
these leaves are small, spindly, and black, with slivers of green leaf mixed in. They smell of hay and honey.
I used just over 1 tsp of leaves in 10 oz of water, at 190 for 3 min.
the liquor is a nice amber. It has a slight astringency, but it is not bad. The taste is of hay and fall leaves, with a faint aftertaste of honey.
Not a bad tea, but i prob wouldnt go out of my way to keep this around.
I revisited this tea, and man, I’m getting better at this. I brewed it shorter and with more leaf. So smooth! I shared my 1st steep, so I can only speculate that it went as well. My second steep was for about 3 minutes, with the leaf amount at about 2 tsps? (I eye the amount of tea nowadays, depending on what I want) No overbearing maltiness, just smooth subtle nuttiness.
Flavors: Nutty, Smooth
I loved the dry and wet leaves’ smells, more unique than other assams from GTT. The flavor itself was more mild than comparable assams, but also with less astringency. I felt there was a more nutty flavor than the typical malt. Yummy, but not so bold.
Hooray! The horrid headache that I had yesterday seems to have mostly calmed down, I am worried it might be a side effect of my sleep meds, but I get awful headaches quite often, so probably not. My sleeping seems to be better, even if my sleep schedule seems to be all over the place, with luck that will even itself out soon. More important news, guess who is getting back into Dropzone Commander, yeah it is me, no real guess there. I had put it to the wayside for a while to focus on other things (and it seemed that no one was playing it at Tabletop) so when I got back from PA and found out it had become popular, well, time to get back to work on painting the Scourge! Brain-slugs for life! In all honestly I love the Scourge, but they are so creepy.
I heard that the best way to keep the Scourge from possessing you is tea (or a salt based shampoo) so that means it is time to break out some Golden Tips Tea! Today we are looking at Giddapahar Muscatel Darjeeling Black Tea Second Flush, I go back and forth as to which flush of Darjeeling is my favorite, clearly I need to sample a lot more before I can make an assessment, I know it is greatly based on my moods. So, about this particular Darj (is it considered uncouth to shorten the name, hope not because I have been doing it for year, at least it doesn’t sound as bad as when I shorten the name of Puerh!) it comes from Giddapahar (whose name translates to Eagle Cliffs) Tea Estate, located in the beautiful (seriously, I was just daydreaming over photos) Kurseong Valley, this particular estate was established in 1881 and has some of the oldest China bush varietals. It is actually thought that the second flush rather than the first flush is the best produced by this estate, being extremely heavy in the muscatel notes. Tea, you had me at muscatel, it might be one of my favorite notes in tea because (depending on flush) it reminds me of either Scuppernongs or Muscadines, two of the best grapes ever and possibly the best food to come out of my homeland (it is the South in case you didn’t know…not that I ever shut-up about it) Anyway, the aroma of this tea, at first is loamy and roasted peanuts, and then like a small raisin themed explosion, the aroma blooms into muscadines and slightly spiced wine. At the finish there is a hint of honey and dry leaves. I admit I spent the majority of the time waiting for my kettle to heat up with my nose in the tea, I just go crazy for that muscatel aroma.
Once I give the tea its required steeping, the aroma is less muscatel, it is still there, but the wet leaves are overshadowed by autumn leaves and loam. The finish, again, is honey, this time joined with the distinct aroma of sultanas. The aroma of the liquid has a surprising note of malt and a strong presence, it is a heavy tea, like I am sinking into a teacup…that is a good sign! There are also notes of raisins and honey with a finish of loam and dry autumn leaves.
The tea starts out a bit dry then switches almost immediately to smooth, I always find it amusing when teas do that. The taste begins with malt and loam, it is a bit brisk, but as it switches to the smooth mouthfeel it also transitions to sweet muscatel and honey. I should say that the muscatel notes are more on the raisin side, and a little bit like muscadine jelly and a touch like a spicy red wine. I am sure people who are into wine can name it perfectly, but since I have only memories of tastes and not names I cannot give an exact comparison. I liked this tea, I was expected the taste to be like the aroma and have more of a muscatel explosion, but the more subtle notes are quite tasty too.
Cooking TTB #2
With a 5 am conference call this morning I desperately needed some caffeine to help keep my eyes open!! I couldn’t wait to dig back into the Cooking TTB and was looking for something a little more breakfasty to help in this endevor and this Assam jumped right out at me. Since there was only one cup’s worth of leaves in the bag I thought it best to start off with the tea black, then add milk and finally add sugar! Black the tea was honestly a little bland… nice and malty but nothing to really write home about. With milk the tea was a little more creamy and a slight nutty taste was also suddenly present. With sugar this became a typical breakfast tea for me, the sugar masked some of the more complex notes, the nuttiness was definitely gone, but it became easy drinking tea for me. Big thank you to Flyawaybirdie for including this in the TTB for me! I’ve been curious about Golden Tips for a while now and really appreciated the chance to try one of their teas!!
I really like this – it has surprisingly low astringency, as most assams are rough on me, but it is very strong for me to sip plain. It tastes best for me with a dash of milk, so the nutty malty flavor can really come out and shine.
So turns out I at least got like…three pretty good teas from the TTB. Wasn’t a total loss! I’m glad I got to participate in one. This one is less woody than the last Golden Tips Tea that I tried, but it’s still there, and still noticeable.
Tasting more malty-ness with this one though. Ahh, malty teas…one of my favorite parts of black teas! Need more malty teas!
Flavors: Malt, Wood
mmm. Have to get used to this one. Not familiar with green Darjeelings, and much prefer the vegetable taste of Japanese green teas.Yellow colour in cup, tastes a bit bland/flat at first. Nothing wowish, so the sweetish aftertaste & mellow hints of muscatel certainly came as a bit of a surprise.
Haven’t figured this one out yet, as my sole passion of anything green lies with the Japanese teas since long, but maybe I need to brothen my horizon and pick a green darjeeling now and then.
Once again, in brewing this Giddapahar Darjeeling from Golden Tips, I adhered to my darjeeling parameter principle: less is more. Low temperature and short steep are key to success with this type of tea, in my experience.
This second flush muscatel offering brewed up dark orange-amber, veering caramel, and tastes very smooth and full. Not a spot of bitterness here. I definitely recommend that everyone change their attitude toward darjeeling by acknowledging, first, that it is not really a black tea! It is not fully oxidized, so officially darjeeling is an oolong. Here’s a helpful link explaining the truth about darjeeling:
This means that darjeeling has been done a huge disservice by being lumped together with assam teas now for nearly two centuries. Assam is hearty to the point of indestructibility. Darjeeling is tender and temperamental. Above all, darjeeling is sui generis!
I received this sample today as part of the July subscription box. When brewed the aroma has a hint of fruit and mustiness. As for the flavor, this Darjeeling has a characteristic bitterness and the aftertaste is a light muscatel which lingers pleasantly. I might try my second steep with a bit of tea sugar to bring out more of the sweetness.
Flavors: Bitter, Malt, Muscatel
Nice, really nice. It’s not as sweet as the Goomtee second flush from the GTT subscription, but it’s quite tasty. I like the finish.
I’m so glad I was working from home today. I just have been pulling a different tea out of my box of new teas all day long. It’s been fun! I never quite knew what I would get next.
I tried a darjeeling last week, and it wasn’t a great experience. But thanks to the encouragement of my fellow tea nuts on here, I am looking forward to exploring more. That’s a good thing since now I have SO MANY in my Golden Tips box!
This is delicious! It’s not terribly astringent, and it’s very flavorful. I do get the fruity aspect of it, although I might not have identified it as grape as in muscatel. It’s quite nice though. Now I am even more excited to try all of the other darjeelings in the box.
This was a really awesome tea drinking experience. I got this sample and saw the date picked and realized it is almost certainly the freshest tea I have ever had. There is just something SO cool about that. But, other than novelty, this was delicious. I am not particularly good at describing detailed flavor nuances, but to me it was a bit sweet and very fruity, but still having the hearty black tea taste. I steeped it twice, and it was a bit less sweet on second steep, but still very flavorful. I often have issues with black teas and bitterness so I kept this one at 200 degrees.
It felt like Christmas yesterday when I got my first box from Golden Tips Tea. Everything about the experience was top notch – super fast shipping (They sent Friday from India, I got it Monday in the US), excellent resealable foil packaging, and more information on the labels than I have seen before. There is even a picking date on there.
All that I was missing was the actual tea! And it was too late in the day to try it at that point.
I had ordered both the monthly sampler and the Assam sampler, since I love Assams. I picked this one first because it was both an Assam and was from the monthly selection. I love knowing which estate the tea is from, since it makes me feel like I am learning about India and the tea growers as I experience the tea.
I am not disappointed! The leaf smelled lovely, a little malty like so many of the other teas I love from that area. Brewed, it was dark and a perfect first tea of the day. I won’t say that it made me see rainbows and unicorns, but not every tea is like that. This to me would be a fantastic staple tea, one that I could drink and know what I was getting – a reliable friend so to speak. I am excited to try some of the others from the box next.