Looking to give Darjeeling tea a try

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.


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Sep 17th, '17, 14:59
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Looking to give Darjeeling tea a try

by Frisbeehead » Sep 17th, '17, 14:59

So Darjeeling tea (along with other Indian and Nepalese teas of this style) is the one type of tea that I really haven't explored yet. I want to order a first flush and a second flush so that I can finally try some. I did a bit of searching and came across Thunderbolt tea, Tea Trekker, and Vahdam teas, does anyone have experience with these vendors?

I'm looking for some recommendations for a vendor that I can buy one first flush and one second flush Darjeeling from. I am definitely open to specific suggestions as well, like a specific estate/tea. It doesn't have to be the absolute top quality, expensive Darjeeling around, just looking for a solid, good quality first and second flush to introduce me to the style.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: And I'm not trying to spend too much money. Thunderbolt's shipping is pretty expensive, so I probably will not be ordering from them. When I have some more money to spend on a top quality Darjeeling, I'll order some from them. But right now, I really just want to get a first and second flush Darjeeling for less than $100 total (ideally less than $70 total).

Sep 18th, '17, 01:43
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Re: Looking to give Darjeeling tea a try

by ethan » Sep 18th, '17, 01:43

How tea tastes not only varies from estate to estate but even among their various offerings. I won't recommend an estate or a vendor usually but rather specific teas. If you are looking for a tea that gives what one expects from a first flush or second flush, hopefully others can suggest specific teas to help you research.

To complete your research I suggest you also try an autumn flush if your goal is to learn whether you like darjeeling teas, and specifically the Himalayan Orange (HOR) that I sell, since no one dislikes it and it typifies autumn flushes which don't get as much attention but at their best (as the harvest I bought was) are preferable to other flushes for some people.

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Sep 18th, '17, 07:01
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Re: Looking to give Darjeeling tea a try

by Psyck » Sep 18th, '17, 07:01

Tea Trekker appears to be a Chinese vendor. May be better to purchase Indian teas directly from an Indian vendor. Some other vendors are:
https://www.teabox.com/
https://lochantea.com/
http://www.teaemporium.net/
https://www.udyantea.com/
https://www.jayshreetea.com/
http://www.makaibari.com/

Also consider getting sample sets of various teas instead of more amounts of a couple.

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Sep 18th, '17, 16:36
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Re: Looking to give Darjeeling tea a try

by joelbct » Sep 18th, '17, 16:36

Frisbeehead wrote: I'm looking for some recommendations for a vendor that I can buy one first flush and one second flush Darjeeling from.
I've tried much of Vahdam's 2017 Darjeeling catalogue. Tasting notes and photo's on r/tea.

My favorite that haven't yet sold out, were Goomtee EX First Flush and Gopaldhara EX First Flush. I liked their less expensive Glenburn First Flush too, sold out on their site, but 2 left on Amazon. My favorites of their 2017 Second Flush were Giddapahar, Okayti, and Castleton.

I'll also vouch for a new smaller vendor, Yatra, 9 good first flush himalayan teas. The sampler is worthwhile.

I had some excellent 2017 jungpana first flush too, which some vendors have but Vahdam is sold out.

I intend on trying Darjeelingteaboutique and Thunderbolt this year, too. Dry leaf photos look fantastic for both (big, whole).

Darjeelingtealovers.com looks good too, but they don't provide invoice numbers, which I have kind of come to expect for a high-end Darjeeling specialist vendor.

Sep 19th, '17, 03:04
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Joined: May 23rd, '17, 16:02

Re: Looking to give Darjeeling tea a try

by hoot » Sep 19th, '17, 03:04

Psyck wrote: Tea Trekker appears to be a Chinese vendor. May be better to purchase Indian teas directly from an Indian vendor. Some other vendors are:
https://www.teabox.com/
https://lochantea.com/
http://www.teaemporium.net/
https://www.udyantea.com/
https://www.jayshreetea.com/
http://www.makaibari.com/

Also consider getting sample sets of various teas instead of more amounts of a couple.
Tea Trekker is a higher end vendor based in Northampton Massachusetts. They sell tea from lots of areas.

From this year specifically at Tea Trekker, I really liked the Giddapahar 1st flush teas (AV wonder and nectar Delight). The Jungpana and Rohini 2nd flush teas were also very good, but have sold out.

In general, I have found tea from Gidapahar and Jungpana to be consistently superior. Thurbo has also been good. Castleton Moonlight is one of my favorite teas, but is expensive. Other estates that I have had good tea from are Margaret's Hope, Risheehat, Goomtee, Gopaldhara, and Makaibari.

I would urge you to try more than just one 1st and one 2nd flush. While there are definitely themes that run through the different flushes the end product depends on the processing and source material. (1st flushes are brighter with more bite and floral notes. 2nd flushes are softer with more fruit notes.) If you get 50g (2oz) you have enough tea to really explore steeping conditions. Note: If you get a hand-rolled tea it will be less dense than the standard machine-rolled tea and a teaspoon will weigh less. I adjust up.

Good luck.

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