Top Darjeeling blends?


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Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby spinmail » Jun 21st, '10, 14:47

I love a balanced Darjeeling with flavor and lots of Muscat - like the better teas offered by Castleton and Margaret's Hope.

However, what are my best choices when it comes to more affordable Darjeeling blends? Upton's does a good job - but can anyone recommend something's that's comparable, or even better?
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby Victoria » Jun 21st, '10, 15:39

Sounds like you want an autumnal or second flush.
I have not seen a Castleton or Margaret's Hope blend,
usually the Estate names refer to their single offerings.

I heard from Tea Emporium the Second Flushes are not
too far off. I would hold off buying till the 2010 appear.
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 21st, '10, 16:11

How cheap do you want? Lochan has single estate (unblended) 2nd Flush Darjeelings for less than $5 per 100g plus whatever the shipping is from India.

I haven´t ordered from them but I´ve heard some buzz about them on this forum. So maybe worth looking into? :)
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby spinmail » Jun 21st, '10, 20:48

Thanks for your help so far.

For reference, the Upton's premium blend FTGFOP1 is about $12.00 for 125g, and this is an agreeable price range. I realize that there are a number of Darjeelings that are a little cheaper - and many more expensive.

Even though several are from last season, a number of teas from Lochan look promising.
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby Victoria » Jun 21st, '10, 22:32

Tea Emporium has their 2nd flushes listed now. I would recommend checking them out. Their Sungma: "each sip in the cup is extremely smooth with hints of ripe grapes, apricots and sandalwood and a typical Muscatel flavour that stays on the palate for a long time without any sort of bitterness or astringency."
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby cloudyday » Jun 22nd, '10, 10:27

Think I'll give that Sungma a try myself. It's been a while since I've had a decent Darjeeling in a modest price range. I would give Thunderbolt a try if it weren't for their outrageous shipping prices...
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby spinmail » Jun 22nd, '10, 11:43

I'm violating my own rules, but several of the Darjeeling from Lochan are extremely reasonable, even for favorite teas like Castleton and Margeret's Hope. Thanks to Entropye for the tip. I don't know the shipping costs yet, but...
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby Tead Off » Jun 23rd, '10, 00:13

spinmail wrote:I'm violating my own rules, but several of the Darjeeling from Lochan are extremely reasonable, even for favorite teas like Castleton and Margeret's Hope. Thanks to Entropye for the tip. I don't know the shipping costs yet, but...


Beware of 'inexpensive' teas giving you a true view into any tea category. It's not that they will taste bad but often, you don't get a high quality tea whose flavor profile reveals the possibility of a genre of tea. Even pickings from the same estate can be different after sorting and processing.

A friend just returned from India and gave me a package of 1st flush tea that she said was the most expensive in the store. I didn't ask the price. When opening the package, the blast of aroma from the dry leaves was intoxicating and for the first time, I saw whole leaves in a package of Darjeeling, not the usual chopped up, broken bits, that usually cost $8/100g.

I would be curious to hear from any other posters that have gotten whole leaves in their Darjeelings and which vendors are selling these teas?
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby TIM » Jun 23rd, '10, 11:18

Tead Off wrote:....I would be curious to hear from any other posters that have gotten whole leaves in their Darjeelings and which vendors are selling these teas?


http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/2006/07/darjeeling-1st-flush.html
So far, I was lucky enough to come across some amazing Djls from http://www.thedarjeelingtealady.com/tea/. Unfortunately, because of the heavy rains and botanical flourishes, this year the Gopaldhara highest elevation wonder tea was not desirable....

Perhaps the Gopal Red Thunder could be your good intro to high quality Darjeeling? Good Luck.

ps. All the DJL I've been drinking and aging are all whole leaves :lol:
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby Victoria » Jun 23rd, '10, 11:52

I have to say the Gopaldhara is back in stock for 2010 at Camellia Sinensis and if it is anything close to last year it is totally amazing:

http://camellia-sinensis.com/tea/fiche/ ... flush+2010

This looks good too:

http://camellia-sinensis.com/tea/fiche/ ... ganic+2010

Oh and this ....
http://camellia-sinensis.com/tea/fiche/ ... flush+2010
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby Tead Off » Jun 23rd, '10, 12:56

TIM wrote:
Tead Off wrote:....I would be curious to hear from any other posters that have gotten whole leaves in their Darjeelings and which vendors are selling these teas?


http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/2006/07/darjeeling-1st-flush.html
So far, I was lucky enough to come across some amazing Djls from http://www.thedarjeelingtealady.com/tea/. Unfortunately, because of the heavy rains and botanical flourishes, this year the Gopaldhara highest elevation wonder tea was not desirable....

Perhaps the Gopal Red Thunder could be your good intro to high quality Darjeeling? Good Luck.

ps. All the DJL I've been drinking and aging are all whole leaves :lol:

Tim,
This site is a bit confusing to me. There is no info about the teas such as flush/dating, etc. No info about where they are. Are they in India? The leaves look good, for sure.

Tea Emporium looks like they carry high quality leaves, too. I'm too close to India to buy teas from Canada or U.S. Thanks.
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 23rd, '10, 13:34

Last year I had both lower grade Margaret´s Hope...the same grade Lochan is selling (very choppy) and Margaret´s Hope Black Thunder Hand Roll which as far as I know is their highest grade...totally unbroken leaves.

The lower grade is a good value, it´s tasty and inexpensive...lots of delicious flavours and a good aroma...nothing wrong with it at all.

The hand roll has an aroma that really impressed me the moment I opened the bag...very sweet and chocolately with hints of what I call autumn forest...that crisp clean aroma you get from going for a walk on a chilly autumn day among the trees. The leaves were gorgeous...a real treat watching in my glass pot...and the taste and mouthfeel were wonderful...very very smooth and as the tea slid across my tongue I could taste different flavours emerging.

Overall...the lower grade Margaret´s Hope teas are tasty and good value...I recomend them if you want something inexpensive and high quality to drink every day.

On the other hand the top grade from Margaret´s Hope is an amazing tea and definitely worth looking for if you want a real treat :)

Tead Off...Thunderbolt Tea sells some whole leaf Darjeelings and also some lower grades. They have good descriptions and photos so you can tell which are which.
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby Tead Off » Jun 23rd, '10, 23:16

Yes, the lower grades are still tasty but inelegant. If given the choice, I will always go with the handmade, whole leaf teas.
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 24th, '10, 01:49

Tead Off wrote:Yes, the lower grades are still tasty but inelegant. If given the choice, I will always go with the handmade, whole leaf teas.


I mentioned the positives of both since you were looking for high grade whole leaf darjeeling and the OP was looking for good, inexpensive darjeeling :)
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Re: Top Darjeeling blends?

Postby ClarG » Jan 14th, '14, 21:26

This is an old topic but I do drink a Darjeeling blend called Darjeeling nights from BigTeaHouse. I enjoyed the Darjeeling blends that Stash teas used to offer in their "Stash teas of India" collection but now they just offer the Darjeeling tea that's unblended.
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