I received my Tea Emporium order today! Before I discuss the tea, I just wanted to make a comment that this was my first TE order which did NOT come wrapped in a hand-sewn cloth wrapping. I actually really missed that. It won't change the tea inside, but it was such a traditional touch, I always loved opening those hand-sewn stitchings.
OK, now to the tea. I have 3 offerings from TE:
1. Castleton Moonlight SFTGFOP FF
2. Turzum Organic Clonal Flowery SFTGFOP FF
3. Puttabong Queen Organic SFTGFOP FF Premium
I'm saving the Puttabong for last, as I had a large supply of this same estate tea last year, and I have been eagerly awaiting the Castleton Moonlight!
Castleton Moonlight SFTGFOP FF: This tea is so light, fluffy, and green, it is very close in character to a white Darjeeling. The aroma of the dry leaf is potent, but when the steeping begins, the fragrance is wonderful! I must remember to smell the warming leaf before I brew the next time. So, the character of the brewed tea is like a cross between a white and oolong darjeeling, but with a fuller flavor. The "bite" or astringency of a typical first flush seems to be milder than some others I've tried... reminding me in some ways of the White Margaret's Hope I purchased last year. The flavor is definitely more robust than a white, but smooth and musical without much sharpness. The meaty umami quality I love so much in FF is definitely present. I sampled the tea steaming hot, and then sipped slowly as it cooled. No bitterness was noted at any stage of cooling, all the way down to room temp.
All in all, I think it is absolutely lovely and delicious. Spring Darjeelings are sublime.