I remembered rather liking this year’s first flush Risheehat Darjeeling offered by Harney & Sons, so I kind of had to try the second flush. Compared to the first flush, this is a much darker, toastier tea with a nuttier flavor profile. I think that it compares favorably to most of the other second flush Darjeelings I have tried.

I prepared this tea using the one step Western infusion process I tend to favor for non-Chinese black teas and black tea blends. I steeped approximately 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 212 F water for 5 minutes. Obviously, I did not attempt additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, I noted that the dry leaves were darker than some of the other second flush Darjeelings I have seen recently. I noted a musty, straw-like aroma from the dry leaves. After infusion, I noted that the dark golden tea liquor emitted aromas of straw, roasted almonds, brown toast, Muscat grape, and lemon balm. In the mouth, I easily detected notes of Muscat grape, lemon balm, grass, straw, nutmeg, brown toast, honey, roasted almonds, and minerals.

In the end, this was not a bad second flush Darjeeling by any means. I particularly enjoyed the pronounced honey, toast, almond, and nutmeg notes. The mineral presence was somewhat distracting, especially on the entry, but mellowed out rather quickly. I do wish the Muscat flavor were a little more pronounced, but overall, this was a good second flush Darjeeling with plenty of the grassy, herbal character I tend to get from Risheehat teas.

Flavors: Almond, Brown Toast, Grass, Herbs, Honey, Mineral, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Straw

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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