2016 FF Darjeeling.

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

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Apr 19th 16 3:03 pm
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2016 FF Darjeeling.

by William » Apr 19th 16 3:03 pm

Just made my (small) order, will sip some good teas soon.
Someone here who already purchased or will purchase some FF soon? How do you usually brew FF?

Regards.

Apr 19th 16 3:22 pm
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Re: 2016 FF Darjeeling.

by ethan » Apr 19th 16 3:22 pm

steep in 98-100C water for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes 1 gram of leaves per 60 ml

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Re: 2016 FF Darjeeling.

by William » Apr 19th 16 3:33 pm

Thank you Ethan, will try as you suggested! Do you prefer to use a gaiwan or a teapot?

Apr 19th 16 4:36 pm
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Re: 2016 FF Darjeeling.

by ethan » Apr 19th 16 4:36 pm

William wrote:Thank you Ethan, will try as you suggested! Do you prefer to use a gaiwan or a teapot?
I used both & both were glazed. I don't drink Indian darjeeling anymore & only had a tiny bit before discovering tea from Nepal which for me is less astringent & not too rough. Even w/ my favorite tea from Nepal, Himalayan Orange, which I probably post about far too much, I have gradually reduced my time for steeping. I'm now at 1:30 - 1:45 minutes. If I had yixing bigger than the tiny ones I have now, I would try my HOR in that since lately I like a rounded-out cup of tea. However, you will find your best parameters & hopefully your favorite flush.

In my limited experience, each year is not the same. The HOR that I have now is actually an autumn flush that does not seem exactly like one. Most people think it is a second flush when they drink it.

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Re: 2016 FF Darjeeling.

by kuánglóng » Apr 19th 16 6:33 pm

Dang, my first shipment got stuck in customs (grrrrr) and I'll have to make do with some not so nice replacements instead.
Anyway, as with all teas I find it extremely worthwile to experiment with the steeping parameters, dosage, vessels, water, ... but I rarely brew up more than 200ml at once. One little habit of mine I've mentioned a while ago is to sample your brew at different times. You don't exactly need a watch but it might come in handy. Just brew up some leaves in about 200ml of water. I usually start at about 1.1g/100ml, sometimes more, sometimes a little less and begin to sample the brew at about 60 or 90 seconds and repeat each 30s until there's nothing left or the brew gets too adstringent. This can give you a much better idea about the leaves than sticking with a fixed steeping time. You can evaluate the samples right after you poured them or collect them in a row of small cups for some comparative evaluation. As to the temperature you'll find that FF Darjeelings and Nepali teas respond in a pretty non-linear manner to your brewing temperature (type of water, dosage, vessel (material), what you've eaten or drank before, ...) but water that has just come off a quick boil is a good starting point for most Himalayan teas.
Happy experimenting :D

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Re: 2016 FF Darjeeling.

by William » Apr 19th 16 8:27 pm

Thank you Ethan and Kuánglóng for the advices.

I've never brewed nor drank FF, so I will probably throw a couple of leaves in a bowl just to see how they respond [before experimenting with my trusted gaiwan].

I also bought a green tea (always 2016 harvest) made with darjeeling cultivar, curious to see how it will be once brewed!

Talking of Darjeeling's estates, which are the most famous? Worth to try their FF?

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Re: 2016 FF Darjeeling.

by kuánglóng » Apr 19th 16 10:08 pm

William wrote:Thank you Ethan and Kuánglóng for the advices.

I've never brewed nor drank FF, so I will probably throw a couple of leaves in a bowl just to see how they respond [before experimenting with my trusted gaiwan].

I also bought a green tea (always 2016 harvest) made with darjeeling cultivar, curious to see how it will be once brewed!

Talking of Darjeeling's estates, which are the most famous? Worth to try their FF?
Too many too mention :lol:
Some of my all time favorites from the top of my head in no particular order: Risheehat/Liza Hill, Upper Namring, Margaret's Hope, Lingia, Jungpana, Mim, Puttabong, Runglee Rungliot, Singbulli, Chongtong, ... but these are just some of my preferred gardens, tastes differ as well as seasons and individual production runs (invoices). All those estates mentioned above produce great FF teas but a lot depends on your vendor too and your individual preferences. Even though some folks know how to produce nice DJ blends I'd make sure to get single garden teas from a single invoice. Nobody I know up there or elsewhere would blend teas that can stand on their own and I've yet to try a blend that can blow me away like a good single invoice tea.

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Re: 2016 FF Darjeeling.

by john.b » Aug 3rd 16 6:53 am

Given most first flush versions are relatively lightly oxidized compared to other types, not really black teas, using lower temperatures might work better, more in the standard oolong range. Or personal preference is really the final determinant, so brewing a tea a few different ways can pin down which variations work best.

I don't drink a lot of Darjeelings but I did try a decent first flush tea from Gopaldhara not long ago, Wonder Gold, they'd sold it as. It didn't seem so much like other first flush Darjeelings I'd tried before, not quite as fruit-intensive related to flavors, but with a really nice fullness, and plenty of sweetness, so good in the balance.