There is so much I do not know about tea, and I know the least about Darjeeling.
The first one I had was from A Southern Season. I thought it was “normal” black tea and I made it that way. I got a stomach ache. Then I read that it should have a shorter steep and tried it that way. It was better, but I still preferred Chinese teas and focused on them, having only a few Indian teas over the years. So I feel ill equipped to tell a Darjeeling lover about this tea, but I can tell what this tea lover found.
Dry Leaf Scent: bright, high, green, fresh, sharp-ish, with a hint of latex like a good oolong has.
Liquor: golden yellow, which always surprises me since Darjeeling is a “black” tea.
Taste: I am surprised to find myself thinking, "What magic is this? A Darjeeling that reminds me of Chinese green, a Darjeeling that has me thinking that this would be good to serve to my picky husband who only likes black tea drowned in milk and sugar, or green, white, or oolong plain. Yes, I am thinking that he would like this with our Asian takeout dinners.
The body is listed as medium in their description, but it has a creamy mouthfeel that makes me lean toward saying it is really creamy medium. The flavor is much like the scent of the dry leaves, but there is a little nut flavor underneath it all, with a tingle of citrus and grass, especially as it cools. I am reminded of Chun Mei. The taste and creamy feel really linger, like my tongue is swaddled in the last sip. It really fills the mouth and sinuses. And yet, it is light!
Having tasted it, I looked at the company description on their website. Chinese tea bushes, lighter style of processing… well, of course it all makes sense now!
My youngest daughter is drinking it with me. This is her first Darjeeling and she says that while she is not good at identifying and describing scents, she is on her second cup and says, “This is really good.”
And now we have polished off the whole pot! Thank you, Russell and Harney and Sons, for the opportunity to expand my palate!