83

A first flush Darjeeling composed of a cultivar propagated by Rohini of 2 Japanese cultivars.

The dry leaf has a unique, gentle aroma, floral but not the typical orange blossom. It’s slightly powdery, deeper. Bluish-purple like violets and blueberries. I think I also smell dried fruit sweetness, like raisins but not quite. Musk and chili leaf overtones, a basmati rice undertone.

Difficult to describe… Very clean, light, juicy, nectarlike body with a mentholated cooling, mouth-watering finish. The sweetness sits low and is delicate, like dried fruits, apricots. Very light fruity-grainy-malty taste with something tangy. I guess that’s where What-Cha’s descriptor of green olive comes into play. Delicate violet florals. The second steep reveals more on an apricot-like tanginess, maybe dry grass, a hint of that basmati rice burlap, and that very clean, salty mouth-watering finish.

It’s a fantastic, delicate thirst-quencher. Really digging it.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Blueberry, Cream, Dried Fruit, Dry Grass, Grain, Lime, Malt, Menthol, Nectar, Olives, Raisins, Rice, Rose, Salt, Smooth, Spicy, Tangy, Violet

Martin Bednář

That sounds so great!

derk

It is really nice. I have no idea how Darjeeling lovers would react. Good enough for me to brew another round for the thermos and take it on a bike-and-hike today (It’s going to be 23C!)

Leafhopper

That sounds really interesting!

White Antlers

Wow. That is (or I should say ‘was’-in referring to the era when the Earth wasn’t going crazy) warm for January! My friend in Long Beach (So Cal) told me it was 96F there yesterday. smh

Martin Bednář

I guess I will buy it once I will order from Alistair again. Of course… if available.

Daylon R Thomas

Derk, your note makes me more excited about my sample. I was saving it for spring because it’s a first flush, but I think I will go ahead and drink it today. I was glad that Alistair added it as a sample since I was curious about it. The fact that it’s good in a tumbler also gives me some hope-some first flush blacks can be too vegetal and herbaceous for me on occasion…nevermind I like green oolong. I also need to give the oolong version of this tea another chance. It was like a spicier Baozhong.

derk

Daylon, I’ve been leafing my Darjeeling teas usually heavier than what’s listed, around 1g:100mL. Leafhopper turned me on to steeping them for 5 minutes instead of 2 to 3. I actually didn’t test this one out in my thermos today, opting to make a dent in a 100g bag of GABA oolong. Compared to the last few first flushes I’ve had, this is not at all vegetal or herbaceous on my palate. Spicy baozhong you say? I doubt the Japonica oolong will be around when I’m ready to order again :/

derk

Martin, it is on the delicate end. I remember you didn’t care too much for a similarly delicate Nepali black tea that I loved, but if it sounds good, go for it. I think it’s on sale right now.

derk

And White Antlers, it got up to 82F/21C while I was on my ride. I can’t believe it either. At least we’re getting rain this year? Back down to 50s and rain next week. I think I’ve had one proper winter in the 10 years I’ve been out here.

Martin Bednář

derk: I feel my tastes varies a lot, once I am grateful to enjoy black teas, then floral, then jasmine greens and so on… I don’t acutally understand that. It confuses me, as I for example knew I something really liked and then I prepare it a few days later and I find it way worse…

derk

You’re a moody tea drinker ;)

Martin Bednář

Apparently! Not sure if I like it, or I hate it… Haha.

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Comments

Martin Bednář

That sounds so great!

derk

It is really nice. I have no idea how Darjeeling lovers would react. Good enough for me to brew another round for the thermos and take it on a bike-and-hike today (It’s going to be 23C!)

Leafhopper

That sounds really interesting!

White Antlers

Wow. That is (or I should say ‘was’-in referring to the era when the Earth wasn’t going crazy) warm for January! My friend in Long Beach (So Cal) told me it was 96F there yesterday. smh

Martin Bednář

I guess I will buy it once I will order from Alistair again. Of course… if available.

Daylon R Thomas

Derk, your note makes me more excited about my sample. I was saving it for spring because it’s a first flush, but I think I will go ahead and drink it today. I was glad that Alistair added it as a sample since I was curious about it. The fact that it’s good in a tumbler also gives me some hope-some first flush blacks can be too vegetal and herbaceous for me on occasion…nevermind I like green oolong. I also need to give the oolong version of this tea another chance. It was like a spicier Baozhong.

derk

Daylon, I’ve been leafing my Darjeeling teas usually heavier than what’s listed, around 1g:100mL. Leafhopper turned me on to steeping them for 5 minutes instead of 2 to 3. I actually didn’t test this one out in my thermos today, opting to make a dent in a 100g bag of GABA oolong. Compared to the last few first flushes I’ve had, this is not at all vegetal or herbaceous on my palate. Spicy baozhong you say? I doubt the Japonica oolong will be around when I’m ready to order again :/

derk

Martin, it is on the delicate end. I remember you didn’t care too much for a similarly delicate Nepali black tea that I loved, but if it sounds good, go for it. I think it’s on sale right now.

derk

And White Antlers, it got up to 82F/21C while I was on my ride. I can’t believe it either. At least we’re getting rain this year? Back down to 50s and rain next week. I think I’ve had one proper winter in the 10 years I’ve been out here.

Martin Bednář

derk: I feel my tastes varies a lot, once I am grateful to enjoy black teas, then floral, then jasmine greens and so on… I don’t acutally understand that. It confuses me, as I for example knew I something really liked and then I prepare it a few days later and I find it way worse…

derk

You’re a moody tea drinker ;)

Martin Bednář

Apparently! Not sure if I like it, or I hate it… Haha.

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Bio

Tea Habits:

Among my favorites are sheng puerh, Taiwanese oolong, a variety of black (red) teas from all over, all teas Nepali, herbals, Wuyi yancha. I keep a few green and white teas on hand. Shou puerh is a cold weather brew. Tiny teapots and gaiwans are my usual brewing vessels when not preparing morning cups western style and pouring into my work thermos. Friend of teabags. Hold the milk and sugar unless we’re talking masala chai.

In my late teens, home-brewed unsweetened Lipton iced tea was the drink of choice to combat cottonmouth. The following years saw the appearance of the odd box of tea from Trader Joe’s. About 4 years ago, walking out of the parking garage where I kept my motorcycle, I came across a move-out dumpster treasure: single serve packets of what I can look back now and say was Wuyi yancha. Yes, I drank dumpstered tea and honestly, that’s what blew the doors wide open.

Preference Reference

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again. Some could be great daily drinkers.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possesses off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

Character Rundown:

Boring pandemic hermit whose only current hobbies besides tasting tea are skateboarding and learning herbalism. Will update as the times change.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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