Are all Darjeeling teas somewhat (or more) astringent?


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Are all Darjeeling teas somewhat (or more) astringent?

Postby expatCanuck » Nov 8th, '07, 14:42

Greetings.

I've been a tea drinker since my youth, and I suspect that most of the tea that I drank when I was young (in Toronto) was Darjeeling (or at least a close relative).

In the past couple of years, I've rediscovered tea.
I enjoy black, oolong, greens (that don't taste particularly vegetal -- typically of Chinese origin), whites and even Pu-Erh every so often.

I don't add anything to my tea, other than water.

Over the past year or so, I've found that just about every Darjeeling that I've tried has been somewhat (or more) astringent, particularly when compared to (say) Chinese black teas.

Is this just the nature of the beast, or are there some Darjeelings that aren't astringent?

Thanks.

- Richard
www.oldWithoutMoney.com
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Postby Chip » Nov 8th, '07, 15:02

They are more astringent, no doubt about that. Try a couple of things to alleviate the excessive astringency.

Reduce water temp a little
Use less leaf
Brew shorter time

When brewed properly, Darjeeling has an almost magical quality to it, simply incredible.

Hope that helps.
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Postby bambooforest » Nov 8th, '07, 17:54

And yet Chip is strictly green :roll:
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Postby tomasini » Nov 9th, '07, 02:50

go with a second flush...its the best as far as im concned. less astrignent i guess you'd say...more gentle on the pallett in my personal opinon mate...
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Postby expatCanuck » Nov 12th, '07, 08:48

tomasini wrote:go with a second flush...its the best as far as I'm concerned. less astringent i guess you'd say...more gentle on the palette in my personal opinion mate...


Agreed. And I find that they have a richer taste.

- Richard
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first flush fan

Postby CynTEAa » Nov 17th, '07, 14:25

Oh my! Don't miss out on the complexities of the first flushes! I feel strongly about them. Chip's right, a shorter steep time will alleviate the excessive astringency. A good tippy first flush should just have a slight bite to it. But in an enhancing sort of way. Try 3 minutes as a median steep time and adjust from there. The rewards of soft sweetness, gentle floral notes that linger are well worth the efforts!

Second flushes are certainly smoother and have more body, but not nearly the depth of the early harvests. :)

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Postby hop_goblin » Nov 17th, '07, 14:41

For someone who has tasted 6 different First flush DJ in the last week, I can say that they are not. However, let me known, that my palate is more accustomed to pu-erh which of course can be ultra bitter. :P
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Postby bambooforest » Nov 17th, '07, 15:58

I love first flush Darjeeling too. I love that slight bite that they have. Delicious. I can't wait to explore 2nd flush Darjeeling too.
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Postby tomasini » Nov 17th, '07, 16:44

Rishi has an AMAZING second flush...in my opinion...give it a whirl
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Postby CynTEAa » Nov 17th, '07, 18:11

Gosh, I forgot to mention that there are also white and green Darjeelings that tend to be smooth. Guess I was fixated on first flushes! :oops:

And I agree that there are some wonderful second flushes out there. I have even had a perfectly enjoyable Autumnal which can be very smooth and not at all astringent (if not over-steeped, of course.)
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Astringency is good

Postby jashnew » Nov 18th, '07, 00:33

That is the nature of the beast. Darjeeling's are astringent. Remember in the tea world an astringent Darjeeling is good. Astrigency doesn't mean bitter. I compare astringent Darjeelings to dry wine. If you don't like dry wine don't drink dry wine. If you don't like astringent tea don't drink Darjeeling's. Personally I don't like that astringent taste. I pretty much stay with Chinese teas from the Yunnan providence. Try those out.
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Postby expatCanuck » Nov 19th, '07, 16:48

Chip wrote:They are more astringent, no doubt about that. Try a couple of things to alleviate the excessive astringency.

Reduce water temp a little
Use less leaf
Brew shorter time

When brewed properly, Darjeeling has an almost magical quality to it, simply incredible.

Hope that helps.


Reduction of water temp (to a brisk steam rather than a full boil) and watching my steep time (2 min or so) was indeed helpful. Didn't use any less leaf, tho'.

jashnew wrote:That is the nature of the beast. Darjeeling's are astringent. Remember in the tea world an astringent Darjeeling is good. Astrigency doesn't mean bitter. I compare astringent Darjeelings to dry wine. If you don't like dry wine don't drink dry wine. If you don't like astringent tea don't drink Darjeeling's. Personally I don't like that astringent taste. I pretty much stay with Chinese teas from the Yunnan providence. Try those out.

No doubt Darjeelings have a characteristic 'astringent' bite. Clearly a place for that. But I still do prefer my Yunnan Golds and Bai Hao oolongs (a.k.a. Adagio #40).

Cheers,

- Richard
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Postby jashnew » Nov 19th, '07, 23:57

Expat- Thanks for the response. It's funny how you said you prefer Yunnan Gold and Hao Bin Ren. Those are my two favorite teas. Unfortunately I have to get those two teas from other places and not Adagio. I like their smoothness. Darjeeling's are not for me.
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A good second flush.....

Postby tomasini » Nov 21st, '07, 09:45

Image

And in my Adagio glass no less ;-)
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