When I first opened this packet the scent of the dry leaves was very intense, with sharp, bright, notes that seemed almost harsh and pungent at first, but mellowed to notes of grape, lemon, spicy, earthy, biscuit notes with a hint of woody sandalwood.
The leaves are fairly large, and are mostly various shades of brown, with some sage to olive green silvery tips.
Because of the intensity of the dry leaf scent I used slightly less leaf than I normally do and instead used 1 tsp/225ml which I brewed at 3 minutes at 90*c.
The tea brewed to a copper amber colour. The scent of the brewed tea was awesome with hints of fruity white wine, lychee, pink grapefruit, spice( fall leaves mixed with carnation), with a hint of biscuit underneath.
The first flavour note was bright and fruity, followed by biscuit with a fall leaf note accompanied by a light astringency that opens to fruit notes of wine, grapefruit , a hint of melon, and a light syrupy note. I found this to be a relatively smooth and bright darjeeling.
The tea finishes with a bright clean feeling in the mouth that fades to a spicy note that lingers in the mouth. The fruit and spice dominate over the earthy tones.
The 2nd steep at 4 minutes produced a smooth, and a bit heavier and deeper flavoured liquor with spicy, leaf note, over more distinct, wine note with slight woody sandalwood. nutty note, followed by citrus notes and syrup.
A 3rd steep at 5min was slightly floral, with lychee, citrus, and syrup notes over faint sandalwood.
The spent leaves were entire and were mostly brown with some green ones.
Altogether this tea was very enjoyable and I could easily see myself keeping a little bit of it in my collection. Thanks again to Capital Tea Ltd. for this generous sample.