Here we go, people. I’m back. I was supposed to be overseeing the installation of new computer and security systems at home today, but it turns out the guy I was supposed to be working with was placed in quarantine last night. He had been working with a contractor at his mother’s house, and that guy left early Thursday because he was not feeling well. He ended up in the emergency room before the end of the night and tested positive for COVID-19, and as a result, the guy I was supposed to be working with and his mother were placed in a mandatory 14 day quarantine. Both have been tested, and from what I understand, neither have tested positive, but both will be following quarantine guidelines just to be on the safe side. I was so looking forward to getting both the computer and security systems installed. Oh well, better safe than sorry. On the bright side, I now have this weekend and the next weekend free. Unfortunately, that means I have to wait another two weeks to get the new computers and the new security system installed. I would do it myself, but the security system is a lot more complex than what I am used to, and it looks like getting it up and running is going to be at least a two person job. Anyway, let’s now get to the tea for the Steepster peoples. This is another older sipdown of mine. To be honest, I was not looking forward to trying this tea because the description provided by What-Cha did not seem overly enthusiastic. Anytime I see words like “fantastic for the price,” I automatically know to temper my expectations, but honestly, I had no problem with this tea. It turned out to be a great offering regardless of the price.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped approximately 3 grams of loose leaf material in about 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I did not rinse prior to infusion nor did I attempt any additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material emitted aromas of lemon zest, raisin, pine, basil, thyme, dandelion, apricot, coriander, and grass. After infusion, I detected aromas of orange zest, baked bread, cream, malt, Muscatel, and butter. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered up pleasant notes of lemon zest, basil, thyme, oats, cream, butter, grass, coriander, almond, pine, straw, dandelion, baked bread, green bell pepper, chili leaf, orange zest, and raisin that were balanced by hints of peach, apricot, pear, Muscatel, spearmint, and sugarcane.

This was an interesting and very complex first flush Darjeeling black tea from a producer that is renowned for consistently cranking out quality offerings. Compared to some of the more recent first flush Darjeelings I have tried, this one leaned very heavily on herbal and vegetal notes, but it also had enough fruitiness and nuttiness to maintain balance. Overall, this struck me as a more or less excellent offering. I doubt fans of Darjeeling black teas would be displeased with it in any way.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Bread, Butter, Coriander, Cream, Dandelion, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Herbaceous, Lemon Zest, Malt, Muscatel, Oats, Orange Zest, Peach, Pear, Pine, Raisins, Spearmint, Straw, Sugarcane, Thyme, Vegetal

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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