Lately, I have gotten away from oolongs and gone on a Darjeeling kick. It’s not that I got sick of drinking oolongs or anything. I just wanted to clean out some of the Darjeelings I have acquired in recent months. This particular Darjeeling is a first flush tea from the Mim Estate. Normally, I am excited by the Darjeelings offered by Simpson & Vail, but quite frankly, this one did not do anything for me.
I prepared this tea using the one step Western infusion I tend to use for non-Chinese black teas. Again, I know it’s getting popular in some circles, but I just have not reached a point where I feel the need to resteep Darjeelings on a regular basis. With regard to this one, I just didn’t see the need. Anyway, I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 190 F water for 3 minutes. I also tried preparing this tea a couple of other ways. I tried longer infusion times ( 4 and 5 minutes) and increasing the amount of loose tea used from 1 teaspoon to 1 heaping teaspoon, but I did not feel that changing things up like this helped much. To be clear, this review concerns the preparation outlined in full above.
In the glass, the infused liquor looked like every other first flush Darjeeling I have had to this point. It showed a clear, pale gold. I immediately noticed that the nose was weaker than I normally like. It took a couple seconds, but I picked up on very mild aromas of cream, malt, toast, lemon zest, Muscat grape, grass, straw, and herbs. In the mouth, I noticed that this tea offers smooth, integrated notes of lemon zest, grass, herbs, straw, malt, cream, toast, and Muscat grape that are much milder than one would expect. The finish was very clipped, offering lingering impressions of grass, straw, herbs, and Muscat grape underscored by a slight minerality that I was not expecting at all.
As far as first flush Darjeelings go, this one is very mild; actually, I will go a step further and say this one is downright bland. I know it’s not stale because I haven’t had it all that long, and I have had stale Darjeeling in the past, so I have experienced that horror. There just isn’t much to this tea. It is very simple and very light-bodied to the point of being almost watery in the mouth. On the nose and in the mouth it comes off as being too timid for its own good. To be honest, I have no clue what I am trying to say here. This tea just seems so “blah” to me that I am having trouble summoning the energy to review it properly. I’ll give it one thing, it’s very smooth, but I don’t feel there is enough here to satisfy me. I don’t think I will repurchase this one.
Flavors: Cream, Grass, Herbs, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Straw, Toast