I wanted to start by thanking Yatra Tea Company for the amazing opportunity to try all of these great teas. They specialize in South Asian teas, predominantly from India but also from Nepal.
If you would like to try some of their teas, they have a great offer called the “Yatra 2018 Sampler” where you can try 9 of their best teas at once. This is great if you aren’t quite sure what type of tea is your favorite. https://www.yatrateacompany.com/shop/yatra-2018-sampler
I was so excited to try one of India’s most famous types of tea, Darjeeling. This is known as “the champagne of teas” because of its distinct liquor and its floral, almost fruity flavor. It comes from the Darjeeling district in West Bengal. It borders Bangladesh to the east and Bhutan and Nepal to the north. This region lies at the foot of the Himalayan mountains, creating great elevation for growing tea. What makes this tea unique in India is that the type of tea leaves used to make it are from the small-leaved Chinese variety of Camelia sinensis. This means that the tea produced by the plant doesn’t have as much of a bold flavor to it. It is a little gentler and more subtle in taste.
The aroma coming off of this tea is floral with a slight hint of smokiness. I was excited to take my first sip and start enjoying this wonderful Darjeeling.
I decided to steep this tea a second time. I set the water to just under boiling and let the leaves steep for about 5 minutes. The original time given was 3-4 minutes so I thought this was appropriate for round 2. I was very impressed because the second steeping tasted nearly identical to the first one! I think this is another mark of a high quality tea. All of the original flavors were still there, but they were slightly flatter. There wasn’t the high and low peaks of the first steeping, it was more of a consistent flavor throughout the sip. The second steeping was also pretty much the same color as the first one. It may have had a slightly more orange tint to it, but otherwise it was almost indistinguishable.
Although the liquor is very pale, this tea packs a ton of flavor. I always see this as an indication of quality. This tea tastes almost like a combination of a white tea and a black tea. The first taste you notice is light and refreshing, while the aftertaste of the tea has that crisp bitterness you normally associate with a black tea.
In addition to characterizing how the tea tastes, I also like to talk about how the tea makes me feel. I started drinking this tea around 2:30pm when I was beginning to lose a little bit of energy. This tea refreshed me with its welcoming taste and also made me feel more awake with each sip. After finishing the first cup, I am now brimming with energy, ready to take on the rest of the day. I believe this is more than just the caffeine because instead of jittery, I feel pretty relaxed and alert.
I really love this tea and am so glad to have the opportunity to try it. If you guys haven’t tried a first flush Darjeeling before, I would highly recommend this one. It is a tea that I think will be loved by both beginners and experts. Tomorrow I will be reviewing another tea from this collection!