It’s time to take a break from all of the green teas that I have been drinking lately and get back to reviewing some Darjeeling. This is one of the teas from Adagio that I I had never had before, and it was my first spring Darjeeling to boot, so I didn’t really know what to expect from this one. I finished the last of my half ounce sample packet of this yesterday evening, and now that I have had a little time to gather my thoughts, I can say that it isn’t a bad tea, but it’s also not really my thing either.

The infused liquor showed a pale gold in the glass. The nose provided fresh, delicate aromas of honey, flowers, malt, toast, wood, citrus, and grapes. In the mouth, I picked up delicately layered notes of honey, toast, malt, wood, orange zest, grapes, flowers, mild spices (perhaps a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg), and herbs. The finish was distinctly floral and mildly spicy, with nice grape, orange zest, and malt flavors. The tea held up to resteeping fairly well, but I did not take it further than three infusions (I know that resteeping Darjeeling is starting to become popular in some circles, but I typically do not resteep black teas of this type unless specifically recommended by the merchant). Later infusions provided a smoother and more distinct honey note with pleasant floral, spice, orange zest, and grape flavors.

All in all, I’m not quite sure how I feel about my experience with this tea and I do not think I would go out of my way to purchase it again. As at least one other reviewer noted, it can be very finicky, and one really has to watch the steep time and temperature closely in order to get the best results from this tea. This was the first tea I have had in a long time that I found to be a little bit of a chore to prepare and drink. The aromas and flavors are pleasant, but they are very light, and to me, such mild, mellow flavor is not much of a payoff if I have to watch this tea like a hawk when I’m brewing it. I can understand why people like this tea, and I wouldn’t recommend that curious drinkers avoid it by any means, but being the type of person who prefers more robust black teas, I am most likely not going to revisit a tea that I found to be a bit troublesome to prepare while not offering me something resembling the depth of aromas and flavors I typically enjoy.

Flavors: Flowers, Grapes, Herbs, Honey, Malt, Orange Zest, Spices, Toast, Wood

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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