Yet another sample from Teabox that I finished within the past couple of weeks and did not promptly review, this particular tea hails from the Lopchu Estate. Among the Darjeeling tea estates, Lopchu is one of the more consistently revered, producing teas that are generally known for their woodiness, smokiness, and unique fruity tones. Though this particular tea was not the highest grade among the Lopchu teas I have tried this year, it produced a truly exceptional cup.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped about 3 grams of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material produced pronounced aromas of wood, earth, and cherry. After infusion, I found a mixture of dark wood, blackberry, black cherry, elderberry, brown toast, earth, damp hay, and malt aromas. In the mouth, I picked up a unique mix of herb, hay, brown toast, roasted chestnut, malt, black cherry, stewed apricot, Muscatel, raisin, brown sugar, blackberry, and elderberry notes balanced by touches of earth, smoke, and dark wood. The finish offered lingering black cherry, elderberry, and blackberry notes underscored by subtle malt, brown toast, smoke, roasted chestnut, and herbal impressions.
Even though I have not had a tremendous number of teas from the Lopchu Estate, I have never been disappointed by any of the Lopchu teas I have tried. Each has been very unique and complex, striking me as standing apart from virtually every other Darjeeling available. This tea was certainly no exception. I adored the dark fruit aromas and flavors it showcased. They blended beautifully with the other aromas and flavors displayed by this tea. Definitely check this one out if you are looking for a unique, sophisticated Darjeeling that entices and mesmerizes just as much as it challenges.
Flavors: Apricot, Blackberry, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Cherry, Chestnut, Dark Wood, Earth, Fruity, Hay, Herbs, Malt, Muscatel, Raisins, Smoke