Leaf Type: Black (Darjeeling)
Where to Buy: Grey’s Teas
This 2011 first flush is produced at Monteviot, one of Darjeeling’s oldest tea gardens located in Kurseong south valley at an average altitude of 3600 feet. At around 220 acres the garden it is also one of Darjeeling’s smallest. The leaf is green and neat with a clean, fresh hay-like aroma. In the cup the golden infusion yields a lovely, highly drinkable, honeyish tea with little astringency and a long finish.
Learn more about this tea here.
This Darjeeling Monteviot Organic First Flush is a really good Darjeeling – one of the nicest I’ve had in a while!
The dry leaves range in color from forest green to a medium brown color, and they smell like oak, hay and smoke. Really … what I was first reminded of when I smelled the dry leaves was the smell of hay burning … not an aroma I smelled often growing up on a farm, but, there was one occasion when a haystack caught fire, and the scent is rather distinctive and imparts one of those memories that doesn’t fade.
I was kind of surprised by the smoky notes in the aroma, really, because I don’t usually experience that with a Darjeeling, so I wondered what other surprises this tea had in store for me. I didn’t smell any smoky notes with the brewed tea, but I do still smell the hay-like aroma as well as a woodsy tone.
The flavor is really quite surprising as well. The first thing I taste is honey! Yes, honey! (And no, I didn’t add honey to the cup!) I don’t usually taste honey-esque notes with a Darjeeling, as Darjeeling usually tends to be more fruity than honey-like. I taste hints of flower in the distance, as well as a definite woody note. I taste fruit too … imagine currents and apples drenched in honey! That’s what I taste. Sweet, slightly wine-like but not so much of a distinguished muscatel note … but delightful nonetheless.
Like with most Darjeeling teas, there is some astringency with this cup, and it imparts a slightly dry feeling on the palate in the finish. The aftertaste is clean with hints of sweetness.
A very enjoyable Darjeeling … I’m glad I had this chance to try it.