Black Tea, Tea Tastings

First Flush 2018 Darjeeling Blend

Gong-Go Rating:

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Results: Brisk and floral, a Darjeeling blend well suited for afternoon tea. Reasonably priced, this is a smart place to start if you’re looking for your first black Darjeeling or just need to restock.ย 

Vendor: Upton Tea Imports

Tea:ย First Flush 2018 Darjeeling Blend

Type:ย Black

Origin: Blend unknown

Tasting:ย 10 grams / 212ยฐ/ 10 oz / R5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45

Gong-Go Gear: Teavana Perfect Teamaker (get yours via my Amazon Affiliate link)

Average number of infusions:ย  5



Review:

I love free samples and wish all vendors would send them. Although I don’t get them with every order from Upton Tea Imports, they do send them occasionally and this was one of the better ones I’ve received.

Being a “blend” sourcing this tea is impossible as it is comprised of material from multiple sources. As a Darjeeling though I can talk about that for those who’ve not yet tried this tea.

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Image courtesy of Google Maps

Grown in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India, the Tea Board of India states that only tea produced in specific areas can be classified as Darjeeling. Unfortunately, there are lots of counterfeits out there as the market sales about three times more tea call Darjeeling than the area produces. Because of this its always best to order from a vendor you trust it you want true tea.

Produced from theย small-leaved Chinese variety of Camellia sinensis,ย originally it was only found as a black tea. Now though you can find all types of tea (excluding pu’erh) being produced from Darjeeling tea. Many people confuse Darjeeling as a “type” of tea like black as it was originally introduced to the world, but it actually designates the terroir and can now be found as white, green, oolong, and black.

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Darjeelings have distinct floral notes of roses and orchids that I particularly like. It is also very brisk and for that reason, I think much better suited for shorter brewing times. I started this tasting with just a 10-second infusion but the astringency was still a bit much for my taste. When I got to the third and fourth the infusion was as smooth as could be. If I’d had a larger sample I might have tried a longer rinse and longer brew times on the last three infusions but sadly I only had the ten grams. I enjoyed this tea immensely and was pleasantly tea-drunk by the third pot. If your looking for a black Darjeeling well suited for daily use or wanting to try one for the first time, Upton Tea Imports First Flush 2018 Darjeeling Blend is a smart choice.


Gong-Go Tasting

Dry Aroma:

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Delicate woodsy notes with some floral overtones

Appearance:

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A bit twiggy & broken

Liquor:

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Gorgeous yellow gold

Taste:

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Floral notes of roses & orchid with a brisk finish that mellowed with later infusions

Mouth Feel:

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Dry at first but turned juicy towards with the 4th & 5th pots

Gong-Go Rating Infusion 1 :

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Some citrus and woodsy notes with a dry finish

Gong-Go Rating Infusion 2 – 3:

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Wonderfully floral with a smoother finish

Gong-Go Rating Infusion 4 – 5:

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Very smooth with notes of roses & orchids

 


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