Thanks to Teakruthi for the beautifully packaged free samples. I don’t have much experience with Sri Lankan teas, so I was eager to see what they’re all about. I personally picked this blend because the website description likened it to a first flush Darjeeling, a tea type of which I have some knowledge. I steeped 5 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 190F for 4, 6, and 10 minutes, respectively.
The leaves are small, fairly uniform green twists and have a dry aroma of wildflowers, fruit, and pine. The first steep is a lovely copper colour and indeed has the florals and faint muscatel of a first flush Darjeeling. I also get grape skins, green grapes, raisins, pine sap, eucalyptus, grass, tannins, and pleasant sourness. I remember as a kid cracking open the seed pods of the caragana tree in my yard, and the taste reminds me of how that smelled. The second and third steeps offer lighter renditions of these flavours.
I’ve tried this tea with less leaf and at lower temperatures, but anything that reduces the sappy sourness also reduces the Darjeeling-like fruit and florals. I’ve come to the conclusion that this tea should be enjoyed for the expression of the Sri Lankan highland terroir that it is and that comparisons to first flush Darjeeling can go only so far.
Flavors: Eucalyptus, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Grass, Muscatel, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Raisins, Sap, Tannin, Vegetal