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

5 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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