This is the combination of my tasting notes for three separate days.
There was no info on the website so I brewed with a moderately-heaped teaspoon steeped for two minutes, boiling water.
It made a medium intensity, clear, orange brew looking greenish-yellow round the miniscus.
I got very little in the nose but there might have been the very faintest hints of chocolate and digestive biscuit.
The flavour-notes were very weak. There was a slightly metallic touch, but not unpleasantly so – it’s too weak for that. There might have been the slightest hints of basic tea, chocolate and a sweatiness (I imagine some gnarled old tea-master rolling the leaves between sweaty palms); but they were so faint I wasn’t sure I wasn’t imagining them – really, I was struggling for flavour-notes to write up. Actually, with the basic tea, I should probably say that I wasn’t really getting it but that it was not noticeable by its absence – so there must have been some there.
It was quite a bland tea, really.
I made a second infusion, the same way, but it wasn’t really any different.
I tried another brew with a moderately-heaped teaspoon again, steeped for three minutes, this time.
It was a slightly more intense colour, but I didn’t get any more in the nose than with the previous brew.
In the mouth my immediate impression was of digestive biscuit – or some similar biscuit – it was still very faint, though, but a fraction less so than the previous time. The chocolate wasn’t any stronger – it was still just the faintest hint – hardly there. The same went for the metallic hint. I didn’t really pick up on that sweaty thing.
I used all that was left of the sample today – at least a well-heaped teaspoon. This time I steeped for three and a half minutes.
This time there is more of an aroma. It’s difficult to pin down. It’s not exactly the smell of nettles, possibly the smell of nettles blended with either a hint of dark chocolate or a hint of something roast-meaty. There’s the faintest hint of that sweatiness, again.
In the mouth I’m getting that digestive biscuit, again, and there’s a hint of warm butter. There’s some good basic tea and the tiniest hint, right on the edge of taste, of that sweatiness again. Then there’s that ‘metallic’ note. This is a really difficult note to characterise. It’s somewhere between metallic, spearmint and smell of nettles. There’s the very faintest bite to it and it’s not metallic enough to be unpleasant; it’s firm rather than sweet, but that’s balanced by the digestive biscuit, so it’s not a problem.
I made a second infusion but this was rather bland, rather like the first brew I made.
This strikes me as a rather unusual Darjeeling. I’m not sure that it’s really to my taste; but I’m not sure that I can really fault it and I’m not sure that I really got to grips with brewing it properly – it doesn’t interest me enough for me to get any more to experiment with, though. To sum up, this is a pretty good tea, but nothing special.