Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?


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Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Ebtoulson » Dec 5th, '09, 00:56

I was just wondering where everyone gets their black darjeeling tea from. So far I've only gotten mine from adagio (#2 is my favorite) but I want to know what my opinions are and maybe even save some a few bucks. Any recommendations would be much appreciated.
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Victoria » Dec 5th, '09, 01:45

Probably not many for saving a few bucks. Special Teas has had some very good ones this year (FF). Are you a fan of First Flush or Second?

TeaGschwendner has an excellent Soom Estate FF.
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby kymidwife » Dec 5th, '09, 01:58

I have really enjoyed what I've ordered from Tea Emporium, although they are not exactly economy prices. Lochan Teas has a great selection and good prices, and they have been hosting some tea tastings, providing a variety of samples for the cost of shipping only, in exchange for your posting of your tasting notes. I haven't ordered from them yet, but plan to do so after this tasting. I understand they have some very competitive prices, especially if you are making a larger order.

Love my Darjeelings, can't wait for next year's First Flush!

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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby shah82 » Dec 5th, '09, 02:16

One tip, if you're new to Darjeeling, buying lots of Upton samplers is just not the way to go. Get a complete sampler pack of some mid-grade leaf from different estate from the Indian vendors, and figure out which estate has a style that appeals to you (most estate does seem to have preferences as to what is an excellent darj), THEN buy your fav estate from Upton should they have it.

Sample sizes at Upton are expensive, and darjeelings are so diverse as to make that punishingly expensive--with poor instructions for brewing as well. Now, with Ceylon teas, and really most other teas, there are only a few superexpensive trickey to brew teas, so it's not an unproductive spending spree to get lots of samples outside of darjeelings.
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Ebtoulson » Dec 5th, '09, 03:07

Victoria wrote:Are you a fan of First Flush or Second?

From what I can tell, I actually prefer second flush, but then again I may not have tried the right first flush yet.

I think I'm going to try Special Tea's Darjeeling Sample first, just because I don't want to get overwhelmed with 12 different samples.
Heres the Lochan samples: First Flush ($35) and Second Flush ($40). I think I'm going to put off this order until after the holidays since I'm heading home in a week.

Thanks for everyone's input
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Victoria » Dec 5th, '09, 06:34

First Flush Darjeelings are rather distinctive. You have to have a good quality one or they can be too astringent. The more full the leaf (as usual in most teas) the better the tea, as cutting and tearing tends to lead to a harsher brew. The key characteristics of first flush Darjeelings is a nice bite of astringency, a greener fresher taste and a lighter color brew.

Second flushes tend to be milder, rounder, fuller, smoother, darker and have little astringency.

The Special Teas sampler is an OK way to go, but light on the first flushes.

Lochan Teas is offering a their Sampler through Face Book, for less than the website. You get a lot more tea for the money, plus get to participate in the group tasting.
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Margules » Dec 5th, '09, 06:52

I believe the deadline for the facebook tasting has passed, but I would actually say that if you are specifically interested in Darjeelings, the standard sample sets are a better value. The current facebook tasting contains 3 Autumnal flush Darjeelings, a green Darjeeling, and the other 7 teas are Assams and Chai blends.

For 10 dollars more, the first flush sampler contains 12 Darjeelings, although you won't have the opportunity to compare notes with people on facebook.
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Victoria » Dec 5th, '09, 07:12

You are right, I just opened my sampler box and was surprised at the lack of FF (and no book). Thank you Margules, I stand corrected. You certainly do get a lot of tea for the money but if you are looking to compare this is not the best way to go.
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Rainy-Day » Dec 6th, '09, 00:42

I had really good experience with Tea Emporium. I've heard many good reports about Thunderbolt tea as well, I will try ordering from them next. I think places like Upton and SpecialTeas are good for simple blacks, flavoured teas, that sort of thing, but maybe not as good for darjeelings, greens, whites, oolongs. In my experiences shops that specialize on each type will have better teas. YMMV!
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Pouvla » Dec 7th, '09, 21:21

Just placed an order at tea emporium for

Darjeeling Tea - 2nd Flush 2009 - Turzum/Clonal Wonder DJ-11
Darjeeling Tea 2nd Flush 2009 - Rohini Emerald Green Tea
Darjeeling Tea 1st Flush 2009- Gopaldhara ftgfop-1 Clonal

nice little mix if I must say so myself, a first and second flush and trying a green variant as I've never tried that before with darjeelings.

Should hopefully be here before x-mas :D
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Rainy-Day » Dec 9th, '09, 02:36

The emerald green your ordered isn't bad or anything, but I personally much prefer chinese or japanese greens.. As I keep drinking it, I can't help but think that it's a black tea that was processed as a green by mistake! Heh.

(OTOH it may be I just don't have the taste for any darjeeling that isn't proper darjeeling.. I don't really get darj whites, either. Then again I only tried a couple of whites and one green.)

But Turzum is very, very good. I haven't had the third tea.
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Victoria » Dec 9th, '09, 08:14

I am interested to hear how the 1st Flush 2009- Gopaldhara ftgfop-1 Clonal
tastes. The Gopaldhara Wt-1 1st flush I got from Camellia Sinensis this year was one of the best Darjeelings I've had. Of course the processing was more oolong.
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Pouvla » Dec 22nd, '09, 13:44

I finally got my package and started tasting

today I brewed the 1st Flush 2009- Gopaldhara ftgfop-1 Clonal, sipping it right now as I type.
This is the first 1st flush Dj tea I ever taste, so I dont know how to compare it with anything other than a normal 2nd flush Dj..And in that comparison its not a like a normal Dj at all, its more fruity, not as dark/malty in the taste, the teaemporium mentions a hint of bananas in the taste and I definatly concur on that. Its much more flowery than I expected, I certainly like it, but takes more tasting to get my palate adjusted all the minor flavors in it.
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Victoria » Dec 22nd, '09, 14:09

Well I hope you are not disappointed. As it happens I'm drinking my Gopaldhara at the moment too, but I think they are different. No banana here, but fruity and light with a smooth bit of astringency. FF are a whole 'nother ballgame from the malty, caramel, smooth, dark 2nd flushes. They are closer to oolongs, and being an oolong lover, that would explain my attraction. :)
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Re: Recommended Vendor for Darjeelings?

Postby Pouvla » Dec 27th, '09, 19:07

After a few days of drinking it ( and not much else) I've lost the sense of bananas, must have been the sweetness mixed with the Dj taste that came as bananas for me in the start. The Dj taste is now more pronounced in the very lovely sweetness, this is definatly something i'm gonna buy again :)
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