Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jewel of a Brew: Green Darjeeling from Shanti Tea

Certified Organic Darjeeling Green from Shanti Tea

The aroma of this tea is amazing. Sweet and rich, it had my palate piqued before I tried the first sip. Like a first-rate regular darjeeling. But a green darjeeling? Most of the time darjeelings are "aged" (oxidized) just a bit more so that they're considered black teas. I wondered what the taste difference might be, but my experiences with Darjeelings are limited compared to other teas, so you have to read this review with a gem-adorned grain of salt.

I did my usual two-step process. The session started with a strong, quick steep in the oolong pot for a first impression. Lovely. Medium astringency, very full "mouthfeel," some floral notes, but a freshness as well that might explain the difference. Not as sweet in the sip as the aroma would promise, but it's a solid citizen, as they say.

The longer steep in the Stumpy 2-cup pot was delicious. Again, a medium/full bodied cup that's astringent and rich, but keeps inviting you back. I set some aside in a thermos, and did a second long steep. I really enjoyed this tea.

Post-steep, a lovely amber yellow liqueur

Green leaves after the first steep

The leaves post-steep. Largely full and intact, some twiggyness, very lightly oxidized

You'll enjoy this tea if:

You like stronger teas or are looking for something heartier to drink as a hot tea and not a fan of Assams, or a tea that would stand up very well as an iced tea.

I could see this paired with:

Your favorite salty, crumbly snack. It's really a tea to be savored on its own and for you to discover your own pairing!


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