Black Third Flush (Autumn) Single Estate Darjeeling FTGFOP1 from Teabox

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

This tea doesn’t appear to be on the website but click below for their bestselling teas below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Makaibari Estate Autumn Flush Organic Darjeeling Black Tea From Golden Tips Tea

Makaibari_DarjeelingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Golden Tips Tea

Tea Description:

Our maiden ​autumnal offering from the bio-organic and fair-trade Makaibari plantations. Floral, zesty and and stimulating, the tea is a classic pre-winter Darjeeling. The coruscating liquor shimmers your tea experience and brings in scintillating fruity aromas. Characteristic of a typical combination of black-brown and light green leaves, the flavor is an alluring melody of accentuated briskness and sharp astringent notes which make for a unique delightful cuppa. An excellent tea for all Autumn tea lovers.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I like to know everything I can about my tea. Where it was grown? When was it picked and processed? What did it do in its free time? All important questions.

So when I see the exact estate/region and date of picking, it just makes me feel better knowing. I think that influences my tea purchases greatly. So, on the sample package of Makaibari’s Autumn Flush Darjeeling, seeing basic details is a comfort. Golden Tips even goes so far as to put the exact day when the tea was plucked. (November 28th, 2014 to be exact.)

Opening the package, I see the usually tricolor leaves; dark brown, sliver-tipped, and the occasional green. The leaves give off little to no aroma, very light bread and fruity notes.

I steeped my tea loose in my elephant teapot, letting the tea evolve on it’s own in the pot. The first couple steeps were light and had prominent bread and malt qualities. The more I got down into the pot, the more fruity and acidic the tea became. It was a very good experience, even down to the last sips. The astringency never got too much to handle, and the muscatel notes were very nice and noticeable thought the body of the liquor. An excellent and simple Darjeeling, great for when I want a black tea, but still crave something on the lighter side of the genre!