Organic Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 2nd Flush Black Tea

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by looseTman
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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec 2 g 8 oz / 236 ml

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From Arbor Teas

This outstanding tea is biodynamically farmed at the Makaibari estate in India’s Darjeeling district. Established in 1859, Markaibari is the oldest estate in Darjeeling, where a strong commitment to sustainable farming prevails. This organic and Fair Trade Certified tea is made from the new growth of the tea plant a few months after the first harvest of the year, referred to as the “second flush.” Second flush black teas from the Darjeeling region offer a darker liquor and stronger body than teas of the first flush, with far less “green” character. This tea is no exception, having an exquisite aroma and amber color, with fully-ripened Muscat grape and wildflower notes, and a punchy astringency.

Sustainability is a cornerstone of Arbor Teas’ business philosophy. In addition to offering an exclusively organic selection of teas, they recently became the first tea company to offer their whole catalog in 100% backyard compostable packaging. They’ve also carbon-offset the entire supply chain of their products, from origin to the customer, making Arbor Teas the greenest option for Earth-conscious tea drinkers, and one of few tea companies recognized by Green America.

About Arbor Teas View company

We’re tea enthusiasts with a lot of passion. Passion for top quality tea, the environment, fair trade, and our community. We started Arbor Teas in Ann Arbor, Michigan, intent on creating a tea company as passionate as we are. Our passion is reflected in every aspect of Arbor Teas. You’ll certainly notice it in the exceptional collection of teas we offer - one of the largest catalogs of USDA certified organic teas around, nearly three-quarters of which are Fair Trade Certified®.

15 Tasting Notes

559 tasting notes

The guys and I are sharing a pot of this tonight with the balcony door left open. My glass mug is still steaming furiously, but I keep trying to steal a sip anyway. I’m impatient. I still love this tea. It’s such a complex and summery thing.

We’ve been having a pot of tea every night, since I always have at least one person hanging out at my place these days. Previously, I’ve been blending my teas and not logging it because I don’t really like making pages for custom blends. But I’ve been mostly making “fall” teas. Apple cranberry, vanilla assam, stuff like that…

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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180 tasting notes

Backlogging. I’ve got a few early-morning classes this semester, and I’ve been taking tea in my Thermos, which is a lovely way to stay warm in the frigid lecture room. I love that it’s still hot when I pull it out of my bag at the end of a 6-hour kitchen lab.

This Darjeeling is great, but 5:30am is not when I should be making a pot of tea, apparently. I had it in my head that this was an oolong. I steeped it as an oolong, and I expected it to taste like an oolong. I blame it on Adagio’s Ooooh Darjeeling…. Somehow. Really, it was just too early and I had no idea what I was doing. I shouldn’t be allowed to do anything without my morning cup… including making my morning cup.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

“Really, it was just too early and I had no idea what I was doing.”

Oh, how I can relate to that!!

Is your kitchen lab a quantity foods class? My longest one was only about 5…

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335 tasting notes

My first darjeeling! I’ll write more in detail later, but I wanted to get some quick notes down to remember the taste experience. Deep, warm, woody (not woodsy, not smoky) comforting flavor with a tasteful floral note. A slight astringency that I wouldn’t even call “astringent”; more just good. I am suitably impressed!

Edit a few hours later:

Soooo… I realized in retrospect that I may have goofed this tea. I poured it out of its (neat little!) sample bag into a tea tin that had JUST previously been home to some masala chai. I had rinsed the inside of the tea tin out, but unless this tea smells a LOT like chai, I didn’t rinse the aroma out.

Since the chai aroma still lingered, I don’t know how much that would have affected the taste. I didn’t really taste chai; I just tasted a combination of a dark, comforting base (which could possibly have been influenced by the chai) and floral notes. One thing I will say for it is that if it wasn’t labeled as a black tea, I would not have guessed it as such; the leaves look like “green tea” leaves (well, they’re green at least, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything), the liquor is a much lighter color than many classic black teas, and the taste is more plant-y than… well, at least the other black teas I’ve tried. Not that that’s a bad thing. Just unexpected! (…Tea newbie here, mind. Tea newbie.)

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Someone should invent little packs that you can put in tins and they absorb flavour. I thought of the same thing when i washed out a “mamma mia” tin. strong, strong smelling tin, it might take a couple of days for it to air it out.

I wonder if it would work to leave baking soda in an empty tin for a day or so and then carefully wash it out. They say it absorbs odours but I never found it to be true whenever I tried to use it in my fridge.

I agree! Hmm, that baking soda thing might be worth a try, at least. For some reason, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of the aroma from the dry leaves lingering in the tin until the incident.

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125 tasting notes

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!

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.

RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket

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

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


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


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


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

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4 tasting notes

One of my favorites. It’s naturally sweet and reminds me of agave and grapes. It’s good by itself, but adding some light agave really brings out the flavor! I would call this a “medium” tea, good for any time of day. It’s refreshing and has a mild aftertaste with no bitterness. Overall, this tea is interesting enough for slow, contemplative sips, but it’s light enough so that just guzzling a whole pot works, too.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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