Experience buying from Teavana Online http://steepster.com/places/2822-teavana-online-atlanta-georgia
Date of Purchase/Age of Leaf/Amount of Leaf/Date of Steeping/Frequency Drank: I bought this in December of 2011, the year of harvest is not provided, I bought two ounces of it, and I have had it twice so far.
Appearance and Aroma of dry leaf: Very green-looking, but otherwise looks and smells about like any other Darjeeling.
Brewing guidelines: Glass Bodum pot, leaf free to roam; stevia added; 4 tsp = 4 cups water.
……….1st: 185⁰F, 2’
……….2nd: 190⁰F, 3.5’
……….3rd: 195⁰F; 5’
Color and Aroma of tea liquor: Clear, such that it was caramel colored on top where the leaves were, and a light green on the bottom (on the first steeping, at least); smelled fresh and like another quality Darjeeling I have had; when decanted, there was a very thin froth (?) on top of most of the liquor (clusters of tiny little bubbles).
Flavor of tea liquor: Standard fruity complex tea with the characteristic muscatel notes; my wife detected some bitterness on the finishing taste of the second steeping; it did taste good at room temperature; it had flavor up to the third steeping, but not much; still, that’s about what I expect out of a Darjeeling: at least two good steepings.
Appearance and Aroma of wet leaf: Very green—much like a green tea—with a few brown leaves here and there, and it had an odd smell: malty, and almost musty (one of those smells that makes you want to wrinkle your nose in dislike of the aroma); the number of stems was surprising, as was the number of little bits; the leaves were more chopped than other Darjeelings I have seen.
Value: Great at 75% off, but I would never pay full price for it ($10/OZ). As a comparison point, H&S Sungma Darjeeling 2nd Flush is only $5/OZ: $15/3OZ, with a tin to boot.
Overall: In the four Dareelings I have had so far, this one is clearly fresh and has good flavor. Having had a H&S SF Darjeeling just days ago, it’s easy for me to say that the H&S SF was much better. Comparing the taste of first flush (FF) with a second flush (SF) Darjeeling may be like comparing apples to oranges, but there’s more to my comparison than simply taste. With the H&S SF the aroma of leaf was much more complex, the flavor was brighter and slightly fresher, and the leaf was from a higher quality pluck (the low quality pluck of Teavana’s teas seems to be a trend; at least that’s what I have noticed looking at the leaf of probably over fifty different loose leaf teas—not counting the flavor-added varieties). I’m glad I tried this one, and I may be willing to buy in at 75% off again, but otherwise there are other better Darjeelings out there for their regular price.