First flush darjeeling.. weird smell?

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

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Jun 2nd 08 10:06 pm
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by greenisgood » Jun 2nd 08 10:06 pm

how are you brewing it? it's super easy to overbrew a 1st flush darjeeling, they are very picky teas. a wise man once said that when making darjeelings, it's not about you, it's about the tea.

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Jun 2nd 08 10:26 pm
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by greenisgood » Jun 2nd 08 10:26 pm

Yeah your brewing seems okay, I'd maybe use boiling water though. usually darjeelings are described as having a fresh, fruity, "muscatel" (i always consider like cologne) aroma, maybe it was bad tea but I'd probably try another 1st flush darjeeling maybe from a different vendor and see if its the similar. Darjeelings are kind of love/hate teas.

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Jun 3rd 08 12:59 am
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by witches brew » Jun 3rd 08 12:59 am

That doesn't sound like the Darjeeling I have been sampling this week. The one I brewed smell like black tea and jam, a delicate fruity overtone to the basic tea aroma.

It was ItoEn's Makaibari Crystal First Flush Darjeeling. It may not be catalogue listed on their site, so PM me and I can send you a sample.

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by Beidao » Jun 3rd 08 10:24 am

My first flush Darjeeling leaves smells roasted when dry and have a fresh mint/liquorice smell when wet. I think it depends both on the tea and your own associations. Cooked vegetables is not a smell I would find weird in tea. I don't if a Darjeeling is supposed to smell like that but some greens I've tasted did. According the taste, I would recommend you to play around with the brewing paramenters. Try 60 degress celcius. Try 70. Try 90. And let it sit only for 30 seconds. Or 1 minute. Or 1½ minute. But the best thing you can do if you want to get to know first flushes, is of course to try other ones.

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by Trioxin » Jun 3rd 08 7:42 pm

Some Darjeelings do have an "asparagus" type taste and smell that will settle down after the fist brew. Usually its the higher end "tippy"ones. I myself search these out.

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Jun 4th 08 2:54 am
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by greenisgood » Jun 4th 08 2:54 am

I feel like I've experienced a little bit of that vegetal character as well, and its understandable as many darjeelings seem pretty green. Asparagus is an interesting idea, I'll have to look for that when tasting. I've personally found that I prefer more fruity darj's.

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by Victoria » Jun 4th 08 4:12 am

greenisgood wrote:I feel like I've experienced a little bit of that vegetal character as well, and its understandable as many darjeelings seem pretty green. Asparagus is an interesting idea, I'll have to look for that when tasting. I've personally found that I prefer more fruity darj's.
I notice a definite greeness in Adagio Spring Darjeeling, but yet it doesn't taste vegetal, it's more of a green oolong taste.

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by skywarrior » Jun 4th 08 4:14 am

If you don't rinse your tea with boiling water, you may want to consider it before brewing. Usually gets rid of off flavors and cleans up the tea a bit. :idea:

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by Salsero » Jun 4th 08 5:13 am

Trioxin wrote:Some Darjeelings do have an "asparagus" type taste and smell that will settle down after the fist brew. Usually its the higher end "tippy"ones. I myself search these out.
Well there is a lot of variation among different FF Darjeelings, but in my experience this very vegetal, asparagusy taste is characteristic of the more expensive ones. I love it, but it doesn't usually seem to last more than one or two infusions.

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by greenisgood » Jun 4th 08 9:14 pm

maybe i'm wasting tea but i never do more than two steeps with black teas, and usually no more than one with non-darjeelings

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by Trioxin » Jun 5th 08 7:26 pm

greenisgood wrote:maybe i'm wasting tea but i never do more than two steeps with black teas, and usually no more than one with non-darjeelings
Most of the higher end Darjeelings tend to be very lightly oxidized. You can usually get three of four steeps without any problems.