The dry leaves are large and very recognizable as distinct leaves, still dark green in color. They smell of a rich forest, with notes of wood, mushroom, and earth. The steeped tea itself is brownish-gold in color and still carries the mushroomy, woody scent. The taste is surprisingly grassy, given the depth and darkness of the aroma and color, with just a hint of that deep woodiness. There is a bit of astringency in the aftertaste. It’s a tea that really makes me think of autumn, despite being a first flush.
Overall, it’s a very excellent example of a strong, traditional Darjeeling. Unfortunately I personally prefer teas with a lighter taste, but I imagine this could be the favorite of someone other than me.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Decayed wood, Forest Floor, Grass, Heavy, Muscatel, Mushrooms, Peat Moss, Wood