My very first impression of my first couple of sips was “fruity.” This Darjeeling has that all-important muscatel note. It is crisp, grape-like with a dry wine quality. It is sweet and delicious.
As I continue to sip, I notice how the fruit tones develop. Yes, it is still quite grape-y, but I also notice an apple-y note as well. There are also hints of floral notes which play nicely with the fruit tones. Another flavor that develops by the time I’ve reached mid-cup is a lightly spiced flavor.
While Darjeeling teas tend to have a fair amount of astringency, here I am noticing a bit less than I would normally expect from a Darjeeling tea. There is some astringency, it is just not overly astringent the way some Darjeeling teas can be. Rather, I find the finish to be surprisingly smooth and sweet. The aftertaste is sweet and fruity.
Mark T. Wendell describes this Darjeeling as
Comprised of the first tender shoots of the newly grown tea plant, First Flush Darjeeling tea is a seasonal tea offering that is applauded by tea enthusiasts around the world. We sampled a few of Darjeeling’s first pickings of 2011 and found an exceptional offering from the well-respected Singbulli Estate. Singbulli is located in the Southwestern corner of Darjeeling, very close to the Nepal border. Located at an elevation of 4,000 feet, it has an established reputation for consistently producing high quality teas. This season’s Singbulli Estate First Flush Darjeeling is no exception. Comprised of an attractive mix of well-rolled green and black leaves with many silver buds, this tea is a visual treat. When brewed, it yields a light gold infusion with an intoxicating floral bouquet, reminiscent of tropical flowers. Typical of a stand out First Flush Darjeeling, it finishes with a pleasing muscatel sweetness on the palate.
This is really a delightful Darjeeling, and I would recommend it to those who have found Darjeeling tea to be a bit too astringent in the past. The lighter astringency here allows the drinker the opportunity to really enjoy all the complex layers of flavor that Darjeeling has to offer.
Another fantastic offering from Mark T. Wendell, a company that consistently delivers the best, highest quality teas available!