100

Picking date: 4 May 2020.

2tsp for 250mL @90C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: small narrow leaves, tan and brown. Aroma: the packet says “mandarin, cantaloupe, and green peas,” but all I get is a lovely earthiness and, of all things, cocoa and malt. My hay fever must be worse than I thought this year.

Wet leaf: lots of bright green and tan. Almost a toasty, good quality Keemun note to the aroma, followed by a promise of muscatel.

Liquor: golden bronze.

WOW. This is a spring flush, so I expected a light and airy, almost green tea flavour. It’s brisk, medium-bodied, and just sparkles with muscatel, and yes, cantaloupe and mandarin notes. (I loathe green peas, so I can’t make an informed comment on that note, beyond a sweet earthiness.) This is a complex but not, I would say, delicate Darjeeling. Utterly delicious. Even more muscatel finish as it cools. This somewhat jaded Darjeeling fan is all a-twitter.

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Writer and tea fiend. Author of CONSTANT NOBODY, THIS MARLOWE, DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Floral oolong and complex black teas are my favourites.

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St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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