I’m very much enjoying Kusmi’s Organic Darjeeling Nº 37 tea. It has much in common with other Darjeeling teas I’ve had, but also has some wonderful and unique qualities that make it stand out from the pack.
This is a fairly high quality Darjeeling tea. The small leaves unfurl nicely in hot water. They’re not whole leaves, but cut to a consistent size, with little to no powder or dust. There are a fair number of cut stems among the leaves. The leaves themselves vary in color from leafy green to spruce green and dark olive as well, making for a visually pleasing presentation. I actually like the non-uniformity of the color in this case. While marketed as a black tea, the incomplete oxidation makes this one more of an oolong tea, which I prefer anyway.
The brewed tea is a lovely chestnut brown color. The flavors have much in common with other darjeeling’s I’ve had, but there are also a lot of unusual aspects as well. One of the first things I notice is a lovely fresh spring flowers taste. Floral auroma is expected from Darjeeling, but this one is especially fresh. This is most apparent in the first brewing and less noticeable on subsequent infusions.
The second brewing allows some rich maple flavor to come through. I also notice a good bit of tannin in this tea. This gives an astringent quality that some might not like. I’d describe Kusmi Noº 37 as a fairly brisk tea. This can be mitigated by using water that has cooled for a couple minutes after boiling. I’m still experimenting with ideal brewing temperature. I think 3-4 minutes at 180º is correct for the first infusion. I can get a 2nd and 3rd cup, adding an extra minute each time.
I definitely enjoy this tea and would keep it as my every-day Darjeeling if it were a little less expensive.
Flavors: Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey, Maple, Muscatel, Sweet, Warm Grass, Tannin