Darjeelings


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Darjeelings

Postby Ron Gilmour » May 1st, '08, 08:58

As omegapd pointed out over on TeaDay, things here on the black list have been a little slow lately, so I figured I'd start something.

Spring is an exciting time not only for the shincha-heads over on the green list, but also for lovers of first flush Darjeelings. I'd like to hear about what everybody is drinking in terms of Darjeelings lately. What's your all-time favorite Darjeeling? What's a weird Darjeeling that surprised you? Please share.
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Postby RussianSoul » May 1st, '08, 09:24

Great thread, Ron!

I also want to know some good Darjeelings vendors. I tried Adagio's DJ, several of them, and they are nice. Now I want to try others.

Where do you get your Darjeelings?
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Postby Ron Gilmour » May 1st, '08, 11:10

I've had good luck with Upton for Darjeelings. Besides the good quality of their teas, I like the fact that they have a "New Arrivals" section on their website, so you can see what's just come in.

I just got a shipment from Upton of three different Darjeelings. So far I've tried the Castleton Estate FTGFOP1 and the Phuguri Estate FTGFOP1. The Castleton is a wonderful classic bright floral Darjeeling. Kinda pricey, but I'd definitely order it again. The Phuguri is also good, but I don't like it as much as the Castleton. It has more astringency and an almost peppery quality that I don't think I've encountered in a Darjeeling before.

I've also had some good Darjeelings from Tao of Tea. These are more reasonably priced and are organic. Their organic first flush is very good as is their second flush "Black Bear" Darjeeling.

I haven't yet tried Adagio's offerings in this area.
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Postby olivierco » May 2nd, '08, 15:42

I already tasted

Namring SFTGFOP1 (DJ3) (Mariage Frères) very good (fresh, just the astringency I like) but perhaps a little too expensive (35€)

and I ordered from Palais des thés

Phuguri DJ 14 «AV2» F.T.G.F.O.P.1 (33€)

Singbulli DJ 24 S.F.T.G.F.O.P.1 CLONAL (28€)

Puttabong DJ 32 S.F.T.G.F.O.P.1 (22€)
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Postby joelbct » May 2nd, '08, 15:57

I enjoy the winey-ness of Castleton, and I generally prefer second flushes to first. That said, I am buy no means a Darjeeling expert.

Perhaps I will try Upton. They have a huge selection...
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Postby Trioxin » May 3rd, '08, 07:09

My latest and greatest from teaemporium.com

2008 Castleton Moonlight
2008 Thurbo Tippy Clonal

They're absolutely nuts. Both cream of the crop first invoice. The moonlight is 80% silver tips and the Thurbo 40% I believe.
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Postby Ron Gilmour » May 3rd, '08, 09:47

I think that's teaemporium.net. Never ordered from them, but it looks like I might have to. Thanks for the tip. Olivierco, please post some tasting reviews when you try some of those teas...they sound like a lot of fun.
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Postby Trioxin » May 4th, '08, 06:28

Ron Gilmour wrote:I think that's teaemporium.net. Never ordered from them, but it looks like I might have to. Thanks for the tip. Olivierco, please post some tasting reviews when you try some of those teas...they sound like a lot of fun.

My bad. Teaemprium.net was top notch. Rather fast shipping considering they came straight from Darjeeling, and excellent packaging. The tea's were wrapped five or so times and sewn shut in a cloth bag.
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Postby Ron Gilmour » May 4th, '08, 08:01

Trying a new one this morning. It's called Mirik Valley and is from Tao of Tea. The vendor website describes it as "A classic, bright, sweet, muscat Darjeeling aroma with hints of green banana and spice that give way to subtle shades of vanilla and osmanthus." Not sure about the vanilla and osmanthus, but I can definitely taste the puckery quality of green banana and a lot of spice.

I guess this isn't technically a Darjeeling, as it comes from someplace in NE India that's 30 miles from DJ proper, but it may as well be DJ. This stuff is definitely worth drinking and at $10.75 for a 3.5 oz tin isn't too pricey as Darjeelings go.
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Postby Salsero » May 4th, '08, 12:49

Ron Gilmour wrote: ... the puckery quality of green banana ... at $10.75 for a 3.5 oz tin ...
Is that puckery quality what they call astringency?

Thanks for sharing the Mirik Valley.
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Postby Beidao » May 5th, '08, 06:49

I would like to be a Darjeeling expert but so far it's no chance since the Darjeeling I've found in my local stores have no info at all about harvesting year or estate. I'll have to buy better stores, or from the net.

I've tasted one "Darjeeling FTGFOP1". It has a genmaicha-like taste of puffed corn and also makes me think of toasted bread. Sometimes it reminds me of cocoa and newly grounded coffee. It's not at all light or subtile but I like it a lot.

I've also tasted to first flushes. One costed about 20 dollars per 100 g. It is not easy to brew but once it became perfect... and I became totally happy :D Some seconds to much or to little destroyes it though :(

The other one costed less than 10 dollar per 100 g. It is even more hard to brew, and not as light and subtile as the other first flush, but it was Fair Trade and cheap - so why not!
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Postby omegapd » May 5th, '08, 08:38

Good thread, Ron.

It's been years since I had any type of good Darjeeling. Even when I pretty much settled on black teas for my favorites, my tastes were toward blends and stronger Indian teas.

But all this talk has me checking out tea vendors on-line again. :wink:

EW
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Postby olivierco » May 7th, '08, 16:20

I received my 2008 darjeelings.

I tasted 2008 Darjeeling Phuguri "AV2" FTGFOP1.
Three goods steeps: complex flowery taste (I am not very good at guessing which flower or plant it is actually), nice aroma but it lacks the little taint of astringency I like in Darjeelings
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Postby Salsero » May 7th, '08, 18:23

The hint of astringency makes it or breaks it sometimes, but that sounds like a wonderful invoice.
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Postby olivierco » May 15th, '08, 15:52

I opened another of my 2008 Darjeelings: Risheehat SFTGFOP1.

I got three steeps of it (3min 3min 5min).

Very good floral taste and the level of astringency just as I like it in a Darjeeling.

I didn't find the fruity taste it was supposed to be in this tea.
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