First Flush Darjeeling (2012 Singbulli Estate)

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Scheherazade
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “After my initial cup of “normal” tea (i.e. Twinings Everyday), I thought I’d enjoy my last morning off work by starting it with a cup of this. The dry leaves smell amazingly fresh, and very floral....” Read full tasting note

From Teapigs

Louise the tea taster says
The Indian tea bushes are just waking up from the long winter snooze so now is the perfect time to launch our first of our top of the crops….. da da da daaaaa.

For those who didn’t pay attention in geography Darjeeling is in India, bordering Nepal sitting in the foothills of the Himalayas – it’s really hilly, misty and very cold in the winter. The tea bushes grow clinging to the sides of the mountain – the cool weather and challenging growing conditions produce a very intense unique flavour to the tea. Plucking the leaves isn’t as easy as it is in other areas of India (and the rest of the world) as the steep hills make it tricky. The first flush (the first growth after the cold winter) appeared in March this year but with no rain the growth was very slow. Finally the rains came at Easter and the leaves flourished. First flush teas are young, juicy and fresh – truly unique. They’re in huge demand in Germany and Japan where there’s a rush to secure the finest teas and so they fetch crazy, high prices.

The first flush organic Darjeeling we’ve selected is from the highly respected Singbulli tea estate. The estate spreads over 9 hills and tea is cultivated at heights up to 4100 ft.

So, we’re now the proud owners of a small batch of the finest organic Singbulli SFTGFOP1 … or as we like to call it in the office OMG this is damn good.

How does it taste?

delicate, flowery with a hint of pears – unique and really yum.

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4 Tasting Notes

2238 tasting notes

After my initial cup of “normal” tea (i.e. Twinings Everyday), I thought I’d enjoy my last morning off work by starting it with a cup of this. The dry leaves smell amazingly fresh, and very floral. For some reason, the scent reminds me of spring — cool mornings and a bright sky, sun, and the budding beginnings of flowers. There’s something maybe a little fruity in the depths, too. I’m thinking pear at the moment, but there’s something dry and grape-like about the aroma too. The leaves, as I was expecting, are a variety of shades, ranging from dark to pale green, with creamy tips, and the occasional brown.

As per the recommendations, I brewed this tea for three minutes, after having let the boiling water stand for a minute or so. The liquor is a clear medium yellow-brown. The smell, though, is something else. It’s just like the smell of the dry leaves, perhaps slightly milder, with a developing hint of grass. The taste is phenomenal. It’s sweet, slightly grassy, with a wine-like depth to the aftertaste. It’s honestly like drinking spring. There’s also none of the metallic astringency that has put me off darjeelings before. Some of the characteristics are there, but they’re smoother, less harsh, and so a pleasant part of the complex taste.

I could go on drinking and discussing this for hours, and I imagine it’s going to take more than this one note to really extract and document all of the nuances of this tea. This is quite sufficient for first impressions, though. I’m going to sit and enjoy the rest of the cup now!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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