Well, I have continued to mow down Darjeelings. I am currently about halfway through a 50 g pouch of this tea and figured now is as good a time as any to post a review. To this point, I have struggled with how to evaluate it.
I prepared this tea Western style. I steeped 1 fairly heaping teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. The vendor recommended a water temperature of 205 F for this tea, but I have lately discovered that somewhat lower temperatures work best for me when it comes to reviewing Darjeelings, so I stuck with the 194 F water I have been favoring in recent weeks. I can say, however, that I have tried a 5 minute preparation of this tea in 205 F water and did not detect much of a difference.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted a mild bouquet of Muscatel, grass, and straw. After infusion, the aromas of Muscatel, grass, and straw remained, but were joined by scents of malt, almond, herbs, and dried flowers. In the mouth, I detected delicate, subtle notes of straw, hay, grass, lemon balm, malt, almond, nutmeg, minerals, Muscatel, and dried flowers. The finish was mostly nutty and malty with slight floral, grassy, herbal impressions and a lingering hint of Muscatel.
This was not really what I was expecting. I assumed this would be a fairly fruity Darjeeling (not sure why), but I found it to be more nutty, malty, and vegetal. I read something about this estate being located at a lower elevation than many other estates, so perhaps that terroir gave the tea its unique aroma and flavor profiles. Whatever the case, I can say that this was a pleasant, easy-drinking Darjeeling, but I was hoping for something more robust, flavorful, and complex. In the end, I didn’t particularly mind this tea, but I doubt I would seek it out again.
Flavors: Almond, Flowers, Grass, Hay, Herbs, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Straw