This is my third sample provided by The Tea Merchant. I need to look this up on their website as I don’t know what they mean by ‘biodynamic’, anyway my experience with Darjeeling is a bit limited. I have a bagged Darjeeling from Mother Parker with Saturday breakfast, and I used to drink loose Ahmad Darjeeling. I view the opportunity to taste this tea today as continuing education.
Removing a scoop of leaf from the bag reveals this is CTC, but as has been discussed before, that is not an indication of quality. It is actually a very typical production method for black tea. The scent reminds me of unscented pipe tobacco leaf.
Steeped for 3 minutes with almost boiling water resulted in a golden amber color brew that appears more orange as I pour. The sip is a bit different than I expected. It actually does have an apple like character. When hot it feels brightly tart (astringent?) on the sides of the tongue. This disappears as the cup cools. The apple flavor becomes more apple wood as it cools. Then the traditional muscatel flavors I was expecting begin to show through. At one point I thought I caught cinnamon hints. This seems a bit drying. A really nice cup with no bitterness. It has me craving breakfast.