Hello Friends its been long since I have personally written anything about our own teas on my blog. Usually, I do the tea tasting and the scribbling part is done by another who elaborates it – from now on I have decided that I will personally ‘ink’ the individual tea profiles both for this tea blog as well as for our sales page.
Good Second Flush 2009 Darjeeling tea is a hard find this year and I am trying my best to source the best. Production is low and the quality of tea came late. We started receiving Second Flush tea season samples from various Darjeeling tea gardens, but until mid of first week of June i.e. last week, all teas proved a big dissatisfaction. It had some body and proved to be in between First Flush and Second Flush with a characteristics mixture of both First and Second Flush, a total waste. Even Arya’s first sample they sent us was the same, but gradually seems to have improved with the providence of much needed sunlight, mist/fog, correct humidity and rain. Now its getting to its peak slowly. One of such teas manufactured and procured after mid of first week of June is “Arya SFTGFOP1”. Now this is what I call a heavenly brew.
COMMENTS ON THIS SECOND FLUSH 2009 DARJEELING TEA
Dry Tea leaves: Elongated dry tea leaves having ‘chocolate – brown’ overall appearance with considerable amount of golden tips (also known as buds and teas with lots of such tips are sometimes referred to as “tippy”) signifying ‘high quality’ Second Flush Darjeeling Tea. As soon as the pack got opened, we got an overwhelming sweet fragrance with an undertone reminiscent of the fruit plum which is also ‘musky’ (muscatel). It is a complex flowery tea with complex hints of ‘caramel like’, honey, burnt sugar, slightly nutty, buttery etc. characteristics. The tea leaves seem well rolled with correct crushes and bursts of cells bringing out the required juices much needed for tea. As a result the leaves appear well twisted with golden buds having downy hairs, giving it a curled façade which also appears to have a rich luster and a proper Second Flush bloom.
Wet (Infused) Tea leaves: Total coppery infused leaves showing the real characteristics of a pure Second Flush Darjeeling tea. The golden buds now appear to be pale yellow (dark) in color. It has a sweet aroma which is also malty or chocolaty and slightly minty cool. It has a complex blend of slightly fruity and flowery characteristics.
Cup or Tea Liquor: Again the cup bears the mark of a pure Second Flush tea with its coppery color going more towards the ‘dark red’ mark. Full bodied and smooth with negligible amount of bitterness, hardly noticeable – bitterness increases with longer steeping time. The cup is ‘brisk’ having lively characteristics which is the result of tender plucking and good calculated manufacture. It has a rich aroma which is a complex mixture of being chocolaty or malty, sugary or honey toned, fruity and nutty, buttery, musky etc. Has a rich flavor which is a result of slow growth at higher altitudes. Each sip tends to leave your mouth dry especially affecting your tongue the most and inner cheeks slightly. Has a sweet lingering after taste.
Sidenote: I did two brewings of the same tea at the same time. One I used it for tasting purpose and the other prepared it and didn’t touch it. The left alone cup even after getting totally cooled, had a long lasting aroma which is very sweet and musky. Amazing cup.
Many have asked about my tea preference relating to different tea seasons – My favorite would be Second Flush because this is what Darjeeling is famous for – ‘the musky or muscatel character’. The musky-chocolaty aroma and taste is what I always yearn for. Though First Flush teas cannot be neglected, my favorite season would be Second Flush. This is my favorite but this again cannot be everybody’s favorite as the polity of individual palate comes into play. The worst tea can prove the best and the best can be reviewed into worse – ones own palate is the sole judge here.
Well I am tasting more of Second Flush 2009 Darjeeling Teas at the moment – looking for high end as well as some value for money teas, but in good quality. Some good teas are underrated due to the underrated name of that particular tea garden and its possible to find a gem hidden, yearning to be embraced and appreciated. Such was the case with First Flush 2009 Giddapahar tea. Will have to consider our clients who wouldn’t want to spend more, but simultaneously get a good second flush.
Until then, Happy Tea Sipping!
Oh lastly, I was about to throw away the infused leaves and my mother exclaimed – “Don’t throw that away, you are wasting it, I need it for my plants growth!”. For years she has been using these infused leaves to add extra ingredients to her plant soil – really don’t know the scientific reason for it, but guess, I can hear from you all right under this post. All I know is that this trend is been handed over from one generation to another and especially the women folk has been practising this and surprisingly, the plants bloom into gorgeous flowers. I like tea drinking and tasting, not much of a man who has gone deep into the acts of infused leaves
This Arya SFTGFOP1 Second Flush organic tea has been updated to our sales page and if you are interested – get it here!. This is a limited edition tea Don’t ask me when its gone, as is always the case with good teas!! Just don’t be left out or deprived of the creams of Darjeeling!