Sungma Darjeeling

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Black Tea
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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12 Tasting Notes View all

From Harney & Sons

The Second Flush season in Darjeeling was tough. We are lucky to have found this good Sungma. There are aromas of cooked stone fruit, so it is a very pleasant tea.

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

12 Tasting Notes

2816 tasting notes

Thanks to Nicole for sending me a sample of this. I opened up my tea cabinet today and I just have sooo much tea especially now that I’m on my own! It’s kinda crazy. :)

These leaves seemed to be very fine, so I steeped them up in a For Life teapot using a Finum filter. This is a lovely second flush darjeeling with the classic muscatel flavor. The tea liquour is a lovely reddish brown color. I am getting an essence of plums also with a bit of almond nuttiness in the finish. A very nice tea for a Saturday morning, thanks again Nicole!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Glad you liked it. The leaves may have suffered in transit. I wondered if they might get a bit crushed.


Perhaps, but it was still good!


Really like 2nds, but still prefer 1sts. :))

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408 tasting notes

Oh thank you so much Nicole for sharing this sample with me. I am really in love with this one too and I agree with you there is some buttery Oolong taste in this Darjeeling !

The dry leaves are really thin, kind of mix of green and black and smell a little like caramel to me.
The liquor is clear.
The taste is complex : fruity for sure, I get some plum notes and a dominant muscatel taste. To me a light citrusy note appears on the aftertaste.
There is absolutely none astringency nor bitterness with this tea.

I am clearly changing my mind about Darjeelings with such a lovely tea and with the other Darjeeling I had one week ago.

I surely didn’t taste the right Darjeeling before this month !

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Sounds luscious. I don’t give Darjeelings enough time or consideration, either.

Terri HarpLady

I’m starting to appreciate darjeelings more now that Ive learned to lower the water temp to 195 or so. All the difference in the world!


i agree!!!


I’m so glad you like this one!


@ Sil I am sure you would like this one !
@ gmathis yes it is really one to take into consideration
@ Terri, this one can bear a boiling temperature
@ Nicole thank you again for this tea :)

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8269 tasting notes

sipdown!(179) this was one of the samples that Kallieboo! sent my way in our international christmas card swap. I have had mixed success with darjeelings but this one is wonderful! There’s a fruitiness here along with the muscatel taste. Unlike some darjeelings, there is no astringency or bitterness. I have a little bit left, which i’ll be sending over to terri to try as i think she might like this one as well :) thanks Kallieboo!


so agree ! I loved this one so much, unfortunately impossible to find in Europe.


This seems to be a darjeeling for people who aren’t enamored with darjeelings or have had bad experiences with them in the past. :)


nice to begin with yes ! but now I found several Darjeelings I really enjoy :) must try Margaret’s hope now

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774 tasting notes

I split a tin of this with a co-worker on my latest Harney order.

Our first shared pot smacked me in the face with… cinnamon?? I took a guess that I had forgotten to take the infuser home to scrub clean after the last pot of chai that we brewed up. We rinse with near-boiling water at work, but especially after chais I like to take it home and really scrub at it, let it stand in bleach water, etc. to really get those spices out. So I steeped a single cup with my own infuser and no cinnamon. But this time around I noticed a buttery, oolong-like quality to the feel of the broth. Wowser, that’s impressive.

And honestly, the faint buttery cinnamon wasn’t that unwelcome. Might have to do some novice tea blending and see what I can come up with. :)

Oh, Sungma, how I’ve missed you. I may regret splitting that tin.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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171 tasting notes

Experience buying from Harney & Son’s

Date of Purchase/Age of Leaf/Amount of Leaf/Date of Steeping: Bought a sample (I am guessing it is a little less than half an ounce) in late 2011, lot # 11298, brewed up late March 2012.

Appearance and Aroma of dry leaf: Standard Darjeeling appearance; See Overall for aroma.

Brewing guidelines: Glass Bodum pot, leaf free to roam; stevia added; their website said to brew it at 175F. Really? So I checked the other Darjeelings to see what they said. They were all different, but none were as low as 175. Well, OK, maybe that’s what they meant, but I’m not going that low. I shot for 185F, and hit 190F:
……….1st: 190F, 2’
……….2nd: just under 190⁰F, 3.5’
……….3rd: just over 190⁰F; 5’

Color and Aroma of tea liquor: Pretty standard for a Darjeeling.

Flavor of tea liquor: Fruity and complex, with that characteristic Muscatel flavor; still had some flavor on the third (I did a forth and, although it was mild, it still had flavor).

Appearance and Aroma of wet leaf: A little better quality leaf than I have seen in other Darjeelings, with a malty aroma that was almost acidic (That’s what came to me, anyway).

Value: $2 for a sample, and not bad for the tin @$15 for 3 OZ.

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, knowledgeable of what exactly to expect from a Darjeeling, as I have had only three others, and I don’t drink those very often. Still, in a desire to broaden my knowledge of them I bought this sample with my last H&S order. I’ll get to the aroma of the dry leaf in a moment, but in general this Darjeeling looked like any other I’ve seen, and the tea liquor had a pleasant distinctive taste, good color, and a nice aroma. I can’t remember if my wife has had any of the other Darjeelings I own, but she liked this one, so now I am hopeful I will have someone to drink the others with (other than on special occasions when I have brought them to a guest’s house to brew up).

What really stood out about this Tea was the aroma of the dry leaf. Never, since I have started really sticking my nose in the dry leaf (and I mean, really stick it in there, as in, when I breath in and out I imagine I am practically doing a mini-steeping with all of that moist, hot air that I seem to have lots of), have I got three very distinctive aromas. I usually take a few sniffs to make certain I am giving myself (and the Tea) enough of a chance to take it all in; in this case, on the third ‘sniff’, I got a completely different smell. So, of course, I had to have another go. And then I got another completely different smell (different than either the first or second aroma). THAT BLEW ME AWAY! Three different aromas?! Seriously!? This is the sad part: I can’t even begin to describe what they were (At the time I was thinking of how many of you are so good at describing aromas and flavors, and here I am with THREE distinctive ones in ONE tea and I can’t begin to describe them? Cooooooooome ooooon! It’s embarrassing). Well, the closest description of one of the aromas I could come up with (after racking my brain) was that it was almost like a very fresh green tea (but to me that doesn’t make sense to get that from a Darjeeling), and another one may have been oak-y?

Honestly, I simply wanted to drink the tea, I didn’t want to stand in my kitchen with my nose buried in this black and gold H&S sample zip-lock bag filled with loose tea, muttering between sniffs in my perplexity, for 10 or 20 or whatever minutes trying to figure out the aromas. I just want to DRINK SOME TEA! So, I brewed it up, and have been enjoying it ever since (still with the nagging realization that I could not put words to those aromas; maybe it will haunt me forever, eh?).

So all that to say, although the taste doesn’t particularly stand out in my mind, I will NEVER forget the dry leaf of this second flush Darjeeling. All hail the dry leaf!

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I want to try a darjeeling soon, a golden yunnan is high on my list too. Anyway, I just want to say I really enjoyed how in-depth your review is, it was a pleasure to read.


Although I was frustrated with my inability to put what I smelled to words, it was enjoyable to write. And, admittedly, it is wonderful to have those kind of Tea moments, even if I can’t accurately describe the details of the experience to others. It turns out the forth steeping had some flavor, too (I composted them after that). This is definitely a tea I will consider buying again.

I like both golden Yunnan and Darjeelings, and before this experience I would have said I prefer golden Yunnans, but now, I don’t know. If you want to try them, I invite you to look into samples. Harney and Sons is a great place to buy samples. Amazingly, after reading your comment, I just remembered the other sample I have from them is Golden Monkey (a Golden Yunnan)! Here are the links to both H&S Darjeeling page and Chinese red/black teas page (it looks like all of the Yunnans have samples):

I’ve also had a good Yunnan from Teavivre, and Angel may send you samples if you ask her (you should be able to contact her through her website: ).

Good luck in your search for both of those Teas!

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39 tasting notes

I tend to prefer 2nd flush darjeeling teas with a more robust body and this tea delivers on that front. Sungma has a sweet aroma and darker leaves than other 2nd flush varieties such as Margaret’s Hope, which ranks as my personal favorite. This cup brews strong and dark, so those looking for a hefty sip are in for a treat. It is truly complex. Full bodied, robust, these leaves extract every unit of flavor possible – a maximally flavored darjeeling (coated in caramel for good measure). While I the prefer middle ground Margaret’s Hope offers, those who want to take no prisoners should opt for this variety.

To give one a sense of where this falls in terms of body it is a consideration I put on par with Golden Monkey. Both are full of flavor. Oddly enough, however, the flavor seems heavily bent towards the first cup and does not like to stick around for a second wind.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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149 tasting notes

Oh Thanksgiving time, good food…alright family..and new teas to try.

This being a combination of the latter two (tea that a relative has brought). They’ve stored it in a tin, they don’t remember when it was bought though.

That aside this is probably one of the worst Darjeelings I’ve tried in a very very long time. There is absolutely no muscatel to it, no flavor, nothing. As I hovered above the pot, I was hit with a distinct fishy smell. Luckily this did not taste in the tea. It just tastes like a black tea. I’m really quite disappointed as I’ve have plenty of good tea from Harney and Sons before.

And this might be why I’m giving it such a harsh rating. I know Harney and Sons can do better, and I know Darjeelings (or at least I like to think I do). So both the estate should be ashamed of this tea, and Harney for buying it.

This would be a “Darjeeling” that people would add milk and sugar to. Maybe I should do the same as I don’t need to worry about masking or ruining any flavor.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I had some unfortunate teas brought by family too

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3262 tasting notes

Someone said on a review that we should all honor H & S by drinking & reviewing their teas today. This is the only one I have, sent to me by Sil, sent to her by Kalliboo. Thanks!
I’ve been very busy today, teaching, practicing, & prepping for a gig that I have to leave for shortly, so I didn’t really give this tea the full attention it deserves, but I can report that it is a tasty one, with notes of honey, fruit, & a little floral in there as well.
And it’s a sipdown!


Terri I would love to send you some Golden Monkey

Terri HarpLady

Then I think we should talk! :)
I’m sure I can send you something in return

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