4 Tasting Notes
Ceylon? Green Tea?, Flavouring? Oh dear. This can NOT be anything CLOSE to true Prince of Wales tea. This violates the entire premise behind the original POW blend. You may like this stuff, but flavoured teas are usually low quality tea that need flavouring to be drinkable. Otherwise, they would be plowed back into the soil or sold for other purposes (e.g. making the drug Theodore -i.e. Theopholine).
I do not need to taste this to know it cannot possibly be a valid version of Prince of Wales tea. To get something that is a little closer, buy the Twinings blend. Twinings is probably little like the original blend, but at least it is PURE tea and it taste good! I.e., it is Camellia Sinensis! As Twining’s products go, the two best teas they sell are their Prince of Wales blend and their Darjeeling. Usually, Twinings’ Darjeeling is the past year’s flushes TGFOP1-2 (broken tops,dust). It is drinkable and recognisable as Darjeeling, but quite old by the time it hits the shelves. Darjeeling must not be more than 6 months beyond production for it to taste like Darjeeling SHOULD taste.
Recently, I noticed a new shipment of Twining’s Darjeeling at the grocery. The “Best-By” date was 3 years in the future (2016) and the boxes were strikingly new looking. It was also on sale. I grabbed a box. I will be darned. It turned out to be a solid Blend of 1st and 2nd flush Darjeeling. I suspect 2012 final rain flush and 2013 1st flush from a southern Darjeeling Estate. It was an unusually cold winter. The only 1st flush of any merit came from the southern estates this year. I put the box in the fridge with all my teas (I do my own blending). I have had 3 cups and they have all bested a 2nd flush Mim from 2012 that cost about 10 times as much! It also tastes as good as the standard Boston Tea Campaign blend, -for about half the price. -So have a look at your grocery! The date was “28/03/2016”. If you find Twinings Darjeeling with a “Best Before Date” sometime in 2016, grab a couple of boxes. You will be glad that you did.
HOWEVER, until the new Indian Tea Board labelling goes into effect, ALL your Darjeeling should come from The Boston Tea Campaign. -Safest, best quality and price. You KNOW they support the new laws and their tea is the real thing. You will always get a great cup from the Campaign (German or USA). So it is not single estate. I have found that single estate Darjeelings are usually not that great. But when you DO find a winner, it is the finest ta you will ever drink. I once obtained a kilo of Happy Valley 1st Flush a month after processing, it was like drinking tea for the first time. NEVER, have I had tea that good. I have spent 20 years trying!
DID you know that over 80% of all tea labelled Darjeeling or Assam has NO Darjeeling or Assam in it at all?!! Hence, the new laws!
Most people NEVER discover the Chinese teas. Some Chinese teas are easily the equal of the best Darjeelings. Climate, soil, picking and processing are what make Camellia Sinensis taste so different depending upon where it was grown and processed.
It’s like real estate. Location, location and location. Good luck.