Alrighty, I’m back at last. This week was so hectic on my end. I’m just glad it’s over. Now, I can finally relax a bit. This was one of my sipdowns from earlier in the month. I had kind of been meaning to post this review sooner, but I was trying to mix up my reviews a bit and not post black tea review after black tea review, so I skipped over it and ended up forgetting about it. Anyway, I’m remedying that oversight now. This tea was supposed to be a slightly lower end version of the 2nd Flush Gopaldhara ‘China Muscatel Gold’ Black Tea that was also offered by What-Cha. Honestly, I found it to be a very enjoyable tea in its own right, and in terms of aroma, flavor, and drinkability, it was pretty much neck and neck with its somewhat more expensive sibling.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 3 grams of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions for the review session I am detailing here, but I did attempt a second infusion of 7 minutes a couple of other times and got pleasant results.

Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf material produced aromas of Muscatel, baked bread, malt, and fig. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of wood, roasted almond, grass, marigold, and dandelion. After infusion, the Muscatel aroma faded somewhat, though new aromas of cream, rose, and orange blossom appeared. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of grass, dandelion, earth, marigold, dandelion greens, straw, violet, rose, smoke, roasted almond, baked bread, raisin, fig, Muscatel, wood, cream, and malt that were backed by hints of apricot, orange blossom, orange zest, peach, cherry, and pear. The finish was somewhat astringent, yet it also retained a good deal of fruity, woody, malty, and nutty characteristics that lingered in the mouth and throat after each swallow.

This was yet another nice second flush black tea from the folks at Gopaldhara. It was a little rougher and earthier than the China Muscatel Gold, and I could tell the leaf quality was not quite as good, but this was still a very respectable and enjoyable offering. Truthfully, I very much enjoyed its pricklier, more rough-cut character, and I was not exaggerating earlier when I stated that I found this tea to be about as enjoyable as its more expensive sibling. If it is still available, consider checking it out if you are a fan of second flush Darjeeling black teas and looking for a very good one that won’t bust your budget.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Astringent, Bread, Cherry, Cream, Dandelion, Earth, Fig, Floral, Grass, Malt, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Peach, Pear, Raisins, Rose, Smoke, Straw, Vegetal, Wood

5 min, 0 sec 3 g 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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