Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Steepster Select
A new first flush black tea from one of the most respected gardens in Darjeeling. Grown from the China varietal of Camellia Sinensis, the flavors are bright and tangy with a notable balance. Castleton teas are revered for their low astringency.
One of the things that I love about the arrival of spring is that all the first flush teas are arriving too! I’ve often mentioned my preference for a second flush Darjeeling over a first flush, but, this Castleton Estate First Flush Darjeeling 2014 from Steepster might just change my mind! This is LOVELY!
First of all … very low astringency. If you’re someone who tends to shy away from Darjeeling because they tend to be on the astringent side, this Castleton single estate might win you over. There is some dry astringency toward the tail, but, it is very mild. It’s like a subtle dry wine astringency.
The flavor is delightfully fruity. Notes of apricot and peach. Sweet notes of muscat grape … yes! Muscatel in a first flush. Not all first flush Darjeeling teas have a strong muscatel note but this one is prominent. And what I like is that even though this has a grape-y taste, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the astringency is low … this is like a wine without the astringent quality of a wine. Bonus points for that.
Usually with a Darjeeling, I taste a woodsy or earthy type of flavor, but I’m not getting a lot of that with this Darjeeling. There are hints here and there of earthy and woody notes, but mostly, this is sweet and fruity.
A really, really good first flush Darjeeling. This one gets two enthusiastic thumbs up!