Darjeeling – Ambootia Estate Organic Green Tea from Simpson & Vail. . . .

Darjeeling – Ambootia Estate Organic Green Tea from Simpson & Vail is something I MUST discuss with you today!

Internationally renowned Darjeeling teas come to Simpson & Vail from the area in and around Darjeeling, a Himalayan town in the state of West Bengal in eastern India. The soil and climatic conditions that exist there create teas that are treasured for their exquisite taste. Darjeeling is often referred to as the “Champagne of teas”, and are so prized that the government there created a special logo that certifies that the teas bearing this logo were actually grown in this beautiful mountain terrain. You may have read about this already here at the Sororitea Sisters but we like to remind ourselves and other – every chance we can!

The Ambootia Estate, specifically, was established in 1861, and currently produces all of their teas using organic and bio-dynamic farming practices. This is ALWAYS a PLUS! Their organic green is a superlative tea with its pale hues and refreshing aroma. The smallish green leaves impart a sweet after-taste, with more body than most green teas and the wonderful flavor of a fine Darjeeling…according to the Simpson & Vail website, shop, and product description. I tend to agree, however, I was able to also pick up on a few floral notes and a more vegetal green flavor instead of a sweeter green flavor.

This was a MIGHTY FINE Green Darjeeling! I would LOVE to try the Black Tea equivalent of this soon! YUM!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  Simpson & Vail
Description

Internationally renowned Darjeeling teas come to us from the area in and around Darjeeling, a Himalayan

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Blue from 52Teas

I usually imagine earl grey tea with a little bit of a bite, the kind of proper tea that staunch old ladies sip from fine china teacups in British dramas.

Once my mother sent me to an old-timey etiquette class led by a strict old woman. The tea we drank from teacups had a bite, black and tart, and a squeeze of lemon on top made my mouth pucker.  

It was more palatable by the second cup with milk and sugar cubes but I always associate a bit of bite with that first cup of earl grey.

Earl Blue from 52teas would have been a better first cup for my childhood self. The darjeeling base minimizes astringency, making for a smoother, gentler cup of tea.  Whole blueberries are sprinkled throughout the loose leaf and add a rich, berry sweetness.

There’s still bright citrus in the palette of flavor, but it’s easy and creamy, making for a drinkable cup even without milk and sugar. Citrus and blueberry are a well-balanced combination, not too sweet or sour, with enough traditional bergamot to earn the title of earl grey.

Earl Blue from 52teas is the perfect blend to drink out of a porcelain teacup when I’m feeling more playful than proper.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Darjeeling
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for the teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Uper Fagu Darjeeling Oolong from The Tea Shelf

I’ve not come across many Oolongs from Darjeeling in the years I’ve been drinking tea, but the ones I have tried have always been something special. This one is no exception.

uper-fagu-liqIt starts with the leaf, which in appearance reminds me a lot of a first flush darjeeling (although it’s actually a second) crossed with a very fresh white peony. The are a high predominance of downy silver buds, some verging more on silver or pale green, plus some brown-ish-copper leaves. The scent is sweet and lightly jasmine.

Initially, the taste is subtle and fairly mineral, in the way that some lighter or green oolongs can be. There’s a distinctive citrus flavour in the mid-sip – it reminds me most of grapefruit, with a slightly sharp/sour tang. There’s also some of the muscatel flavour you’d typically associate with a second flush darjeeling, and the pairing is an unusual and inspiring one. As it cools. a hint of dark chocolate starts to emerge, although it’s mostly confined to the very end of the sip and it doesn’t linger long. uper-fagu-infDespite the scent, I didn’t detect any floral flavours in the actual tea, which is a small relief because it’s already quite busy. In terms of mouthfeel, it’s lightly brisk but doesn’t cross over into astringency, despite being slightly drying on the palate.

I enjoyed this one. I’ve discovered that I like Oolongs from Darjeeling in general, and they often have some of the more unique flavour profiles. Mineral, grapefruit, and chocolate don’t sound like they should work together very well, but, somehow, they do. If you enjoy either Darjeeling or Oolong, this one is definitely worth a look.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: The Tea Shelf
logoDescription

One of the finest oolongs of Darjeeling, the aroma of dark chocolate envelopes your senses, reminiscent of a cold wintry day! The leaves are springy with a moss like mosaic of silver and copper. The infusion shows another surprise with individual leaves clearly visible with bright colours of copper and mauve. The chocolate experience continues but now coupled with citrus and fruity notes. The steeped leaves give way to a gorgeous sunset yellow cup, which is very brisk on the palate with notes of jasmine and citrus, which linger on.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Oaks SFTGFOP 1 CL SPL 2nd Flush 2016 Darjeeling Organic from Lochan Tea Limited

You may have already gathered that I’m a fan of Lochan’s straight-up black teas.  They almost always provide that heft I’m looking for to get my day going!  Oaks SFTGFOP 1 CL SPL 2nd Flush 2016 Darjeeling Organic from Lochan Tea Limited isn’t one of their most sturdy teas but it’s still one of their very scrumptious teas!

If you are looking for that stereotypical darjeeling taste with a twist try Oaks SFTGFOP 1 CL SPL 2nd Flush 2016 Darjeeling Organic from Lochan Tea Limited.  It offers that muscatel yet sweet and sour woodsy taste with twists of citrus possible leaning more towards natural lime.  The after taste – especially as it cools naturally at room temperature – seems to have a grape-skin or raisin-like comparison to it, as well.  I tried sipping this a bit quicker – something I don’t usually do – but when I did I was able to detect some crusty flavors, too!  Now that I have discovered this I might try it more in the future.

If you are new to darjeelings Oaks SFTGFOP 1 CL SPL 2nd Flush 2016 Darjeeling Organic from Lochan Tea Limited is a good place to start.  If you are a darjeeling guru you will appreciate this as well.  After all, Darjeelings are considered the ‘champagne of teas’.  I’m really enjoying Oaks SFTGFOP 1 CL SPL 2nd Flush 2016 Darjeeling Organic from Lochan Tea Limited.  Let us know if you’ve tried this flush and year!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Lochan Tea Limited

10257247_10152465228653879_1575165945339389205_oDescription:

Oaks SFTGFOP 1 CL SPL 2nd Flush 2016 Darjeeling Organic from Lochan Tea Limited

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Okayti Wonder – Second Flush From Vahdam Teas

Okayti-Wonder-Darjeeling-Black-Tea-Second-Flush-_Organic_-main_grandeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Darjeeling Tea

Where to Buy: Vahdam Teas

Tea Description:

A certified organic fresh summer black from Okayti. The well manufactured leaves offer a delightful appearance with golden tips sprinkled all over. The tea is elegantly rich and bodied supported by aromas of fruits and berries. Discover zesty notes of chocolate with hints of muscat grapes in every sip. The aftertaste lingers on to a sweet floral finish. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I will start by explaining that Vahdam Teas is a new name for an older company, formally known as Golden Tips Teas. This tea was a free sample from my previous order with them; of which I am thankful to try.

Darjeeling to me is perfect for the summer months and today has been a little dull but warm and dry non the less, ideal to review this sample. This tea is certified organic and is graded as: SFTGFOP1 which stands for (Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1).  The packaging label also shows the ‘Date of Picking’ which is a bonus and very nice to see. My sample was picked 15th May 2015, so it’s just over a year old. This crop is still available for sale on their website.

As I open the packet and spread a selection of the leaves in my palm I can note: small/medium dark brown leaves, thinly rolled with some curl and a few golden tips scattered about. They have a dry and sour scent with elements of musk and wood.

Steeping Parameters: 3-4g of leaf into a 320ml vessel with boiling water for 3 minutes. 

The result is an amber coloured tea liquid that bares the same muscatel, wooden scent as it’s raw form.

Flavour is slightly sour with mild leather and malt flavours with dryness in the after taste. There is also some sweetness which cuts through the sourness a little. The musk is also present but it smells stronger than it tastes. As it cools the sourness tones down slightly but the malt and dry leaf flavour remains dominant and fills my mouth. The dryness increases but remains at a manageable level.

After the steep the used tea leaves are mostly whole and now fully opened, baring a brown colour with a red hue. They have no discolouration or holes/marks and I can see no stems other than those that have broken off from the leaves.

There are a few reasons that I tend to prefer 2nd flush Darjeeling and the main reason is the muscatel flavour/scent. It is unique to Darjeeling and that makes it special, and also a favourite of mine. This is a nice example of a 2nd flush Darjeeling, though the musk is not as strong with this one as it can be. Still, overall it tasted and smelled wonderful which is all I can ask for. And it’s aided me on this warm day beautifully.

Until next time, Happy Steeping!