This was the third of the 2016 autumn flush Darjeelings I recently finished and I have to say that it was a tea I greatly enjoyed. This seemed to be the favorite of the folks at Teabox, and for me, it would come down to either this one or the tea from Gopaldhara if I had to pick a favorite. Truthfully, the teas from Gopaldhara, Jungpana, Goomtee, and Giddapahar were all so similar in terms of quality that I could probably make an argument for any of them being the best if I were to put my mind to it. What this one offered that was rather unique was a quirky, fascinating combination of aromas and flavors that highlighted a unique melon rind note.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped about 3 grams of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. No additional infusions were attempted.
Prior to infusion, I noted aromas of wood, herbs, raisins, tobacco, and roasted nuts coming from the dry leaf material. After infusion, I picked out new aromas of earth, tree bark, and malt. In the mouth, I initially found pleasant floral notes that gave way to a combination of malt, roasted almond, raisin, earth, wood, tree bark, herb, tobacco, and plum flavors. I could also detect slight vegetal tones that were accompanied by subtle hints of spiced pear, red apple, and watermelon rind. The finish saw the vegetal notes take more shape. They began to remind me of cooked green beans. Simultaneously, notes of wood, malt, watermelon rind, and flowers lingered after the other notes began to fade.
This was an incredibly interesting and complex black tea, yet it was also approachable and easy to drink. It was somewhat more challenging than the other autumn flush teas I have recently tried. I definitely found it to be a quality tea that rewarded patient, focused sipping. If you are looking for a unique autumn flush Darjeeling black tea suitable for afternoon and/or evening consumption, this would certainly be a tea to try.
Flavors: Almond, Bark, Earth, Floral, Green Beans, Herbs, Malt, Melon, Pear, Plum, Raisins, Red Apple, Tobacco, Wood