The scent of the dry tea leaves is bright and fresh with a richer, perhaps malty tinge. At first I was a little worried that my tea would end up tasting like a bale of orchard grass hay, but fortunately that didn’t turn out to be the case.
I steeped the tea according to the steeping recommendations on the packet, although I may have been a bit generous with the leaves. The leaves are on the small side but not superfine or too small to be good quality. They’re third flush, or autumn harvested, which means the flavor is different because the leaves are growing more slowly in the autumn as opposed to the rapid spring and summer growth of the first two flushes. This may be why this tea seems maltier and less floral than other darjeelings I’ve tried.
There’s a distinct black tea fragrance as soon as the leaves hit the water. The fresh, grass-hay fragrance note doesn’t go away but it melds with the heady floral and malt of the oxidized tea. I can definitely catch the floral scent in this tea, although the grass-hay scent seems to me to be more prominent than the malty scent that’s mentioned in the description.
After steeping, the liquor is a yellow-tinged orange color and rather dark, although it’s not one of the darkest blacks I’ve seen. As for flavor, it’s very floral and sweet, but it’s tangy too, with the astringency pulling at the sides of my tongue, but there’s no bitterness, which is nice. Although I can still catch the orchard-grass scent once the tea is steeped, there’s no grass/hay taste in the tea itself. Also, I know I said floral, but this tea is not strong-flavored; it’s delicately floral as opposed to being overwhelmingly jasmine-y.
This particular tea is just lovely with a bit of sugar. I’d say that’s my favorite way to drink it, with just a bit of sugar and no milk. Yes, it’s good with milk too, and I usually like milk in my tea, but here I find that I don’t like the way the milk cushions and muffles the tea flavors.
It’s a nice, warming, strengthening cup overall, and I’d certainly enjoy keeping this one in my stash! I’ll also have to go and check out some more third flush darjeelings to see whether I can find the characteristics I admired in this tea elsewhere or whether they’re unique to this tea alone.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: TeaBox
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My favorite teas are usually dark and strong and go well with milk and sugar. I like to combine tea-drinking with all of my favorite activities, such as listening to music, reading YA fiction, knitting, and writing blog and website content for businesses. Because I'm a well-rounded person, I also have other interests, such as wearing mismatched socks and pretending to be ambidextrous.