This morning, courtesy of Aubrey at Arbor Teas, I’m pleased to review the 2013 Organic Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 2nd Flush USDA Organic black tea, Western style: 8 oz / 1.25 tsp (2.0g) / 212*F / 3-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Thin twisted dark chocolate-brown, chocolate-brown, green and gold 2 cm or < in length.
Fragrance: Reminds me of hay with hints fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Brilliant, clear, amber
Aroma: Muscatel!
Flavor: Muscatel!

3-min: A very smooth, light-bodied black tea. There was no bitterness or astringency. I let it steep another min.
4-min: A very smooth, medium-bodied black tea. There was no bitterness or astringency. I let it steep another min.
5-min: A very smooth, oh, so smooth, rich muscatel black tea. This is not as robust as a full-bodied Assam or Keemun, but you wouldn’t expect it to be as it is a Darjeeling! The muscatel white grape flavor lingers long on the tongue gently dancing – like butterflies flitting around on a cluster of blooms. There was zero bitterness or astringency. Oh, this is good! It brings a smile to my face – literally!

Re-Steeping:
6-min: Smooth & light-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency. I let it steep for another 4 min.
10-min: Smooth light-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency.

Impression: A very smooth, rich, and highly enjoyable organic Darjeeling with a potent natural muscatel aroma and flavor. Very well done! Highly recommended!

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for including this gracious sample with my recent order.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Yum, love a good muscatel SF. i’ve been in such a Darjeeling mood lately!

looseTman

I understand! They’re so different from robust black breakfast teas and such a refreshing treat!

mrmopar

I wish I could pen a review like this. Fantastic my friend!

looseTman

Thank you my friend! When the tea is this enjoyable, inspiration comes standard and the review nearly writes itself!

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Comments

TheTeaFairy

Yum, love a good muscatel SF. i’ve been in such a Darjeeling mood lately!

looseTman

I understand! They’re so different from robust black breakfast teas and such a refreshing treat!

mrmopar

I wish I could pen a review like this. Fantastic my friend!

looseTman

Thank you my friend! When the tea is this enjoyable, inspiration comes standard and the review nearly writes itself!

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Bio

My wife & I are passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, thick & creamy smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs). Currently, our focus is on ripe pu-erh teas.

We especially enjoy teas with a mildly-sweet rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to bittersweet cocoa.

Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are greatly appreciated. Many people drink tea for the anti-oxidant health benefits. So why would health conscious tea lovers drink tea that contains pesticide residues?

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Our recent orders have been from: Yunnan Sourcing, Crimson Lotus, Little Red Cup, Berylleb (ebay), King Tea, White 2 Tea, Tao Tea Leaf, Whispering Pines, Yezi, TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala, Zen Tea Life, Arbor Teas, Verdant, Grandness (Aliexpress). Kudos to them as they have all been extremely helpful.

Our cupboard doesn’t include the many greatly appreciated samples generously provided by Steepsters’s favorite tea suppliers and by several very kind Steepster members.

Current Gogng Fu Brewing Method:
10-15g / 6 oz / 205° / 60s preheat / 60s warm leaves / 5s rinse / 20 min rest / 5s / 5 / 5 / 5 / 15 / 30 / 60 /120. Every two steeps combined in a sharing pitcher.

RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Digital variable-temp electric kettle and a tempered 6 oz. gaiwan:
http://steepster.com/teaware/bonavita/39130-1-liter-variable-temperature-digital-electric-gooseneck-kettle
https://steepster.com/teaware/butiki-teas/39240-flower-gaiwan
https://steepster.com/teaware/shanghaistory/75184-double-wall-clear-glass-cha-hai-tea-pitcher-200ml
http://steepster.com/teaware/shanghaistory/75183-sonsitai-sst-082-ss-fine-mesh-tea-strainer
http://steepster.com/teas/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en
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Update 10/27/17:
Today, I sanitized our RO system and replaced all the filters (routine RO system maintenance). We upgraded from the Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter to the Zaria Everest Alkaline Water Filter:
https://steepster.com/teaware/zaria/68637-everest-alkaline-water-filter
The major difference is the Zaria Everest is NSA-certified, the Puregen is not.
-———————————
Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, a winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.

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Mid-Atlantic, USA

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