This was another sipdown from earlier in the month. I only had 25 grams of this tea to work with and finished them up last week. Drinking this tea reminded me that What-Cha tends to do a great job of sourcing from Darjeeling. It was an excellent first flush Darjeeling black tea, one that I feel could hold its own against just about any other similar tea on the market.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 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 the rinse, the dry leaf material emitted aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, hay, malt, straw, and fennel. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of grass, lemon zest, and dandelion greens accompanied by subtler scents of spinach and pine. After infusion, I noted aromas of apricot, orange zest, orange blossom, honeydew, violet, and rose as well as some very subtle scents of toast. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, butter, malt, hay, straw, roasted almond, lemon zest, white grape, orange zest, orange blossom, dandelion, dandelion greens, plum, rose, apricot, and grass that were chased by hints of pine, toast, roasted peanut, violet, spinach, fennel, sour cherry, honeydew, and watermelon.

Overall, this was just an incredibly likable offering. First flush Darjeeling black teas can sometimes be a little astringent, grainy, and/or vegetal for my liking, but this one was well-balanced with absolutely gorgeous nut, fruit, and flower aromas and flavors. Fans of first flush Darjeeling black teas would be wise to check this one out in my opinion. I doubt it will disappoint.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butter, Cherry, Cream, Dandelion, Fennel, Grass, Hay, Honeydew, Lemon Zest, Malt, Melon, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Rose, Spinach, Straw, Toast, Vegetal, Violet, White Grapes

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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