I took a break from green tea today to finish up another Darjeeling sample. If I’m really lucky, I’ll get the opportunity to finish the last of an oolong sample I’ve been working on too. To this point, I’ve greatly enjoyed most of the Vahdam samples I’ve received. This one was yet another hit.

I prepared this tea Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves gave off mild floral, grassy aromas. After infusion, the delicate golden tea liquor emitted aromas of roasted peanuts, Muscatel, grass, straw, green beans, and fresh flowers. In the mouth, the tea opened with a pronounced roasted peanut note before flavors of malt, cream, Muscatel, green beans, grass, straw, wood, and flowers appeared. Vahdam’s tasting note compared the floral presence in this tea to Amaryllis blossoms, but for the most part, it struck me more like an extremely delicate combination of chrysanthemum, dandelion, and rose. The finish was smooth, offering lingering impressions of cream, malt, wood, straw, Muscatel, roasted peanuts, and green beans underscored by traces of flowers.

This was such a nice first flush Darjeeling. It was put together so well, if that makes any sense at all. The aromas and flavors were layered in a very sophisticated fashion. It also had a wonderful texture in the mouth. I would recommend this one very highly.

Flavors: Cream, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Green Beans, Malt, Muscatel, Peanut, Rose, Straw, Wood

5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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