This was another of my most recent sipdowns. I finished a 25 gram pouch of this tea towards the end of last week. As autumn flush Darjeeling black teas go, this was a very unique and interesting offering. After last year’s strike was ended, the Darjeeling tea estates reopened for business, and this was the first Darjeeling tea Alistair was able to source from the folks at the renowned Gopaldhara Tea Estate. Now, Gopaldhara’s autumn flush black teas are usually very crisp, light, and subtle, but owing to the unique circumstances surrounding this tea’s production, it ended up being a much darker, fruitier, and heavier tea. Ultimately, I found it very enjoyable, though I am much more partial to the lighter, smoother autumn flush offerings from Gopaldhara.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I neither rinsed the leaves nor attempted any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material produced aromas of wood, hay, raisin, and earth. After infusion, the tea liquor revealed aromas of malt, brown toast, orange, plum, cherry, and rose. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of earth, wood, hay, malt, grass, smoke, and dandelion greens that gave way to impressions of orange, brown toast, rose, cherry, raisin, and plum. Underlying impressions of minerals, Muscatel, butter, and tobacco eventually became detectable as well. Malt, brown toast, and earth notes took over on the finish with more assertive butter notes and a slight astringency also appearing.
This was a very enjoyable Darjeeling black tea, but it was also not really what I have come to expect from Gopaldhara’s autumn flush offerings. To be honest, fans of earthier and heavier Darjeeling black teas would probably get more out of this one than I did. Still, I am glad I took the opportunity to try this tea and would not caution others to avoid it. If you are familiar with Gopaldhara’s offerings and are a fan of autumn flush Darjeeling black teas, it is very much worth a try simply because it is so different from Gopaldhara’s regular autumn offerings.
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Toast, Butter, Cherry, Earth, Grass, Hay, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Orange, Plum, Raisins, Rose, Smoke, Tobacco, Vegetal, Wood