Going through my tea cabinet, I was surprised to find a sample of this first flush Darjeeling. I remember tacking it onto a larger order back in either April or May, but had pretty much forgotten about it. Needing to take a break from oolongs, I decided to spend a very hot, hectic Sunday drinking this every chance I got.
I prepared this tea using a simple one step Western infusion. The suggested brewing temperature of 175 F that Harney and Sons often recommend for their first flush Darjeelings always seems low to me, so I almost always up the temperature to around 190 F. I did that in this instance and did not notice any significant issues, so I suppose it’s okay. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 190 F water for 5 minutes. Due to the extended steep time, I did not attempt any further infusions.
The first thing I noticed about this tea was that it is incredibly light in the cup. The infused liquor showed a clear, pale gold with little sediment (I normally do not use a strainer as I do not mind a little sediment in my tea). The nose presented delicate aromas of lemon zest, straw, herbs, and Muscat grapes. In the mouth, I picked up an airy mix of herb, grass, straw, lemon zest, Muscat grape, toast, wood, and cream notes with a finish that really heavily emphasized lingering notes of Muscat grape, lemon zest, and cream.
In the end, I rather liked this first flush Darjeeling and kind of wish I had purchased a larger amount of it. I would have enjoyed playing around with the water temperature and steep time a little more. My only real qualm with this tea is that it is rather simple. It is also a little on the sweet side for my taste-I generally prefer my first flush Darjeelings a little toastier, a little more herbal, and a little more subdued. Still, I wouldn’t steer people away from this tea. I definitely think people who are fans of greener first flush teas would appreciate this one.
Flavors: Cream, Grass, Herbs, Lemon Zest, Muscatel, Straw, Toast, Wood