Darjeeling Castleton Second Flush 2017/Grey’s Tea. . . .

If you know me at all, you know that black teas are my jam! I love them! Adore them and downright devour them! So when my fellow Sister, CuppaGeek told me about this tea that she really enjoyed, I knew this tea was one I had to instantly brew up when the tea arrived at my door.

Fellow tea enthusiasts-let me tell you, THIS TEA IS FABULOUS! And honestly, I will declare this tea the Tea of the Week for me!

Right from the start, you can tell this quality tea is going to be amazing.  The tea leaves are described as having a dark umber leaf and that is exactly what you get.

The directions from the sample package we were sent says “One teaspoon per cup plus one for the pot with freshly drawn, boiling water for four minutes”.  And that is exactly what I did, give or take a moment or two.

This tea hits all of the points on the description and more. Smooth- Check! Rich- Check! Delicious-Check! Check!

Like CuppaGeek said in her review of this tea, this tea delivers on all points and would one that I would happily drink as an everyday tea to start off my day or as a cuppa after lunch to get myself over that lunch wall I sometimes hit.

All in all -if you are a fan of darjeelings like myself, do yourself a favor and check this tea! You’ll be so happy you did!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Grey’s Tea
Description
  • Darjeeling Castleton Second Flush
  • From the Castleton garden in the foothills between Darjeeling and Siliguri.
  • Established by Dr Charles Graham in 1885.
  • In 1996 it was awarded the ISO 9002 certificate of quality.
  • This renown new season Darjeeling Castleton Second flush has a dark leaf.
  • It is smooth, rich and has a distinct muscatel character and a long finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Edith Wharton’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail. . . .

I have a confession to make. Edith Wharton isn’t an author I ever followed. That may come as a shock to many of you and for that I am sorry. After reading her biography I was intrigued, however.

Edith Wharton’s Black Tea Blend is one of the newest additions to Simpson & Vail’s Literary Tea Line. Ingredients include Darjeeling black tea, organic ginger pieces, mallow blossoms, marigold petals and flavoring.

So eventho I cannot speak/write about my personal love for Edith herself – I can tell you about my love for this tea. Of course I’m interested in just about ANY tea but Black Teas are the teas I always grab first and I start every day with at least one black tea (and then move on to the other types of tea as my day progresses).

The focus of this flavored black tea was true to its black tea base and the flavors accompanied it well. The ginger and mallow blossoms acted as a subtle yin and yang contribution in the flavor profile. The marigold petals gave it a more floral aroma and flavor, too.

I was worried that the floral and spicy notes would be a little loud but they were VERY NICELY done here and not shouting. For that I’m grateful and proud to add this to my favorites list of teas & literature.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

For our Edith Wharton blend we pay homage to her descriptions of the undercurrents rippling through fashionable society. We have combined a refined, high-grown Darjeeling black tea with a little passionfruit and citrus flavor, a dash of spice and lovely flower petals to create a taste that is smooth and elegant. Perfect for an afternoon tête-à-tête.

Ingredients: Darjeeling black tea, organic ginger pieces, mallow blossoms, marigold petals and flavoring.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Energy Chai from Hampstead Tea. . . .

“Organic Energy Chai” by Hampstead Tea was originally “BIOCHAI” (all caps). The original bag (which I am sampling here) touted the ingredient “biodynamic black tea leaves.”

They’ve since changed their branding to a more delicate branding scheme that involves a white background and no more claims of things being “biodynamic.” Which is sort of a relief, because when I see “BIOCHAI” or “biodynamic,” I ironically don’t think of something being biological at all. I think about things that are biologically enhanced, like a Terminator/Borg situation. Like this tea got taken over by nanobots.

This delicate, sweet tea doesn’t seem like it’s going to “harness your inner energy and bring the diva out in you!” I actually find this to be more soothing than HYPE. It’s just a tasty blend that is helping nudge me into wakefulness on this cloudy Monday.

Speaking of which, I definitely have “a case of the Mondays” today. I went to the gym, but all of my usual companions slept through it, which was lonely. So I watched YouTube videos of people painting while walking slowly on an incline on the treadmill. It was the saddest workout you’ve ever seen.

Which is not to say my workouts are usually zesty, but at least if people I know are there, I half-ass it instead of no-ass it.

This lackadaisical attitude toward fitness means I am the slowest, pant-iest drag on the group’s speed of all time.

This is why I am the group’s Resident Black Tea Drinker. It’s the only thing that will nudge me into the next gear. I’d just rather be drinking tea than hustling.

I’m sure you gals understand.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Hampstead Tea
Description

Chai comes from India where Darjeeling Black Tea is blended with exotic herbs and spices to make luxurious,aromatic drink. Let it harnessIngredients:Black Tea, Ginger, Lemongrass, Peppercorns, Cardamom seeds and Cloves

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lavender Fans Take Notice! #TheLoveTeaCo

Anything with LOVE in the name of the company I can’t wait to learn more about and try their products – especially if they are TEA companies so when I heard we were getting teas from The Love Tea Co I was super excited!

The first tea I tried from this company was their Black Lavender. At first glance of the loose leaf I thought it was more Lavender than Black Tea but after a closer look I noticed the ratio from leaf to flower or flower to leaf was about 50/50.

After infusing the contents I noticed the tea liquor was of a lighter brown in the cup. The intense yet beautiful lavender aroma was prominent that is for sure.

The flavor of this Lavender flavored Black Tea had a mellower black tea base and a more ‘in your face’ Lavender flavor.

Their website says…Lavender lovers, this is for you. All the calming qualities of this popular scent and flavor with a kick of caffeine to get your day started. This Brilliant Blend is one you won’t want to miss. Blended with our fine quality First Flush Darjeeling and a Lavender Super Blue, it will get you going but keep you calm for the day ahead.

I agree it was nicely blended. And the quality of the Lavender was TOP NOTCH! It was a more creamier Lavender which I was extremely grateful for because I have had some that were more of a stale flower flavor. This wasn’t the case here and I applaud them and that.

This was a goodie and I can’t wait to try more of their teas! Spread a little LOVE today, folks! We all need more of it!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy: The Love Tea Co.
Description

Lavender lovers, this is for you.   All the calming qualities of this popular scent and flavor with a kick of caffeine to get your day started.   This Brilliant Blend is one you won’t want to miss.   Blended with our fine quality First Flush Darjeeling and a Lavender Super Blue, it will get you going but keep you calm for the day ahead.

Caffeine Level: Medium

Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons @ 195° for 3 – 5 minutes

Ingredients: First Flush Darjeeling Black Tea, Lavender Petals

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!