Lopchu Golden Orange Pekoe Darjeeling Second Flush Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea
Flavors
Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Toast, Wood, Chocolate, Creamy, Mineral, Spicy
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Ken
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 3 g 8 oz / 237 ml

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  • “This is a darjeeling that doesn’t taste like a darjeeling? It reminds me of a Chinese black, like a keemun. Rich and full-bodied, surprisingly chocolatey in the scent, malty and fruity in the...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “Before I begin this review, allow me to offer a sincere thank you to Susmita Mukherjee and the folks at Vahdam Teas for graciously providing me with free samples of this and a number of other...” Read full tasting note
    85
  • “Having spotted their sale for new customers, I decided to try a few of their tea, as Id like to get a little more acquainted with Darjeeling tea. First up with have Lopchu Golden Orange Pekoe,...” Read full tasting note
    87

From Vahdam Teas

A very popular second flush Golden Orange Pekoe (GOP) black tea from the Lopchu plantations in Darjeeling. This rich and full-bodied brew prepares a dark liquor in the cup and a sharp nose in the infusion. The flavor brings in a combination of muscatel and slightly earthy notes with scents of pinewood. A delicate hint of spices in the finish makes it an absolute delight

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3 Tasting Notes

80
347 tasting notes

This is a darjeeling that doesn’t taste like a darjeeling? It reminds me of a Chinese black, like a keemun. Rich and full-bodied, surprisingly chocolatey in the scent, malty and fruity in the flavour. An aftertaste that lingers. It’s good!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sil

interesting!

Teatotaler

I must have this Darjeeling!

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85
753 tasting notes

Before I begin this review, allow me to offer a sincere thank you to Susmita Mukherjee and the folks at Vahdam Teas for graciously providing me with free samples of this and a number of other interesting teas. I relish the opportunity to try new things. It was great of you to send some of your teas to me and I honestly appreciate it.

This particular tea is a second flush Darjeeling from the Lopchu Estate. I was unable to find much information about the estate itself, but I did discover that several purveyors of fine Indian teas offer a range of teas from this estate. I also discovered that Lopchu teas are kind of outliers compared to many other Darjeeling teas. They are noted for their intensely woody, smoky, and often spicy aroma and flavor profiles. They are not regarded as smelling or tasting much like other Darjeelings. After spending a day tinkering with this tea, I can definitely offer the opinion that it is unique compared to every other second flush Darjeeling I have tried.

I prepared this tea Western style. I initially started with a 5 minute steep in 205 F water, and while the results were drinkable, the flavors seemed a tad muted. I then tried a 5 minute steep in 200 F water. The results were better, but still lacked a certain vibrancy. I then took a research break and discovered that Teabox also offered a second flush Lopchu and provided a brewing guide. They recommended a water temperature between 185-194 F for this tea, and realizing that I have lately been having better luck with slightly lower temperatures when I brew Darjeelings, I decided to follow their approach. I ended up steeping a teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. That did the trick for me.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves produced smoky, woody, and somewhat chocolaty aromas. After infusion, the dark amber tea liquor produced pronounced scents of wood, smoke, bread, malt, dark chocolate, and bitter, oily nuts. In the mouth, I detected a unique mix of malt, baked bread, smoke, wood (it reminded me of both oak and pine at points), and roasted nuts (beech, hickory, walnut) balanced by touches of autumn honey, Muscatel, semi-sweet dark chocolate, fig, and prune. The finish was decidedly woody, malty, nutty, and smoky with pleasant Muscatel and honey presences on the back of the throat after the swallow.

Wow! This was a different kind of second flush Darjeeling! Previous reviewers and other vendors weren’t lying about this tea being unique. Though I failed to note the spiciness that some people seem to get out of Lopchu Darjeelings, I was impressed by this tea’s aroma and flavor profiles. At times it reminded me a little of some milder lapsang souchongs, or perhaps even some Keemuns. That being said, I found this to be a boisterous tea with a very forceful presence, especially in the mouth. All in all, it’s the sort of tea for which I would have to be in the mood. I would have no issue with recommending it to fans of orthodox Indian black teas, but I would also offer the opinion that one’s enjoyment of this particular tea may depend on the degree to which one is willing to tolerate more strident aromas and flavors than many contemporary Darjeelings seem to offer.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Toast, Wood

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
109 tasting notes

Having spotted their sale for new customers, I decided to try a few of their tea, as Id like to get a little more acquainted with Darjeeling tea.

First up with have Lopchu Golden Orange Pekoe, second flush.

I started this by brewing 2 grams in 180ml of water at 200 degrees, as per some steeping advice Ive gotten on brewing Darjeeling tea. The firs thing I noticed is on opening the lid is the most intense chocolate and earth aroma. I mean wow…

Giving it a few seconds to cool off a bit and pouring it into my gong dao bei, I poured the tea into tasting cups and sampled it. Im very impressed, chocolate, spiceyness on the tongue, malt, mineral and a bit of creaminess.

After watching some videos on brewing Indian and Ceylon teas, it seems its traditional to slurp a bit more than you do with Chinese teas, so when in Rome or in this case Darjeeling, the slurping began. This actually did seem to intensify the flavors a little, the chocolate was just like wow, and the tingle of the spice stayed on my tongue. Also I think I caught a little bit of what Darjeeling is known for the muscatel flavor, almost abit like dark fruits but I cant quite place it, Im going to chalk that up to my inexperience with these kinds of tea.

It did have that nice aftertaste you get with the higher quality blacks and dark oolongs, this is one that will probably find a home in my cabinet even after the samples are gone, especially since we are only a short time away from the 2017 second flush.

Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Spicy

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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