This is the other Darjeeling I have been drinking recently. Even though I have been familiar with Adagio’s products for a long time, I have to admit that until I cracked this one open, this tea was new to me. At first, I did not like it at all, but now that I have tried it multiple times, it has grown on me quite a bit.
I prepared this tea using my familiar one step Western infusion. I experimented with steep times quite a bit. It took awhile, but I think I have finally found what works best for me with this tea. According to Adagio, one should steep 1 heaping teaspoon of this tea in 8 ounces of 212 F water for anywhere from 3-5 minutes. I found that a 3 minute steep using the amount described oddly lacked character, so I adjusted the amount used and the steep time. I actually used slightly less leaf and found the result to be a more balanced, nuanced brew. I still used slightly more than a traditional teaspoon of loose tea leaves, but not quite as much as what many may consider to be a heaped teaspoon if that makes sense. I also found that a steep time ranging from 4-5 minutes using the amount of tea I settled on produced a nice cuppa. For the purposes of this review, I will be specifically referencing the 5 minute infusion.
Prior to infusion, a glance at the dry leaves revealed that this is a higher quality tea compared to the Summer Puttabong offered by Adagio. I did not notice nearly as many fannings, primarily spotting larger broken leaves and some smaller full leaves. To be clear, I still highly doubt that this would qualify as a truly high end Darjeeling, but relative to the other summer Darjeeling offered by this vendor, this one at least appears to be a little nicer. After infusion, the liquor shows a dark golden amber in the glass. On the nose, I found that mellow aromas of honey, Muscat grape, toast, almonds, cream, and malt were easily detectable. In the mouth, I picked up on mellow notes of clover honey, cream, toast, malt, almonds, herbs, straw, nutmeg, and Muscat grape. The finish was longer and mellower than the Puttabong offering, with delicate notes of Muscat grape, almond, toast, cream, nutmeg, and honey lingering.
This does not come across as the most refined Darjeeling in the world, but I found that I really enjoyed the honey, nut, and spice notes offered by this tea. The Muscat grape presence is nice and pronounced too. Compared to Adagio’s other summer Darjeeling, I definitely prefer this one. I could see this being a consistent, solid introduction to the summer flushes.
Flavors: Almond, Cream, Herbs, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Straw, Toast