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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1412 teas.

Reviews of Darjeeling First Flush

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Picture of Darjeeling, Puttabong Estate, 1st Flush

Darjeeling, Puttabong Estate, 1st Flush from Simpson & Vail

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

84 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 25th, 2018

A tricky-to-brew tea that reminded me a lot of green oolongs from Taiwan, and required a lower water temperature to brew to satisfaction.

The dry leaf, quite broken, is an intense green color, like a lot of good Darjeeling first flush. It looks exactly like pictured in the company photo (I appreciate honest photogra...

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Risheehat 1st Flush Darjeeling from Harney and Sons

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 28th, 2016

I loved this one.

No picture of this because unfortunately it was removed from Harney's catalogue before I posted my review.

The dry leaf of this smells wonderful, and unexpected. It smells more like an autumnal flush tea, with more malty notes and a sort of soft, rich, caramel smell. There are floral and caram...

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Picture of Arya Ruby Darjeeling Black Tea First Flush

Arya Ruby Darjeeling Black Tea First Flush from Golden Tips

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 22nd, 2015

One of the most atypical Darjeeling teas, tasting more to me like a white tea than a black, I found this was interesting, but not for me. I was disappointed in it for many of the same reasons I tend not to like silver needle white tea.

I've tried this same tea from a different seller, Happy Earth Tea, the 2014 harv...

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Picture of Nr. 291, Festive Tea™ Darjeeling FTGFOP1 Okayti First Flush

Nr. 291, Festive Tea™ Darjeeling FTGFOP1 Okayti First Flush from TeaGschwendner

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 31st, 2014

A very light first flush Darjeeling with a unique character.

A present brought back from Germany, does not look like it's available in the U.S. I found this tea fascinating, as it's an example of a "holiday-themed" tea that is a single-estate pure tea of a high grade, and I normally associate "holiday teas" with fl...

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Picture of Singbulli, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014

Singbulli, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014 from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 2nd, 2014

Dry leaf has less aroma than the other samples from Happy Earth from this year; aroma is fresh and light like the other teas, but is more suggestive of caramel.

Upon brewing, the cup is not as obviously aromatic, but the flavor is similar. Sipping the cup, I notice pleasant floral tones, but they're fainter than in...

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Picture of Puttabong, Darjeeling First Flush 2014.

Puttabong, Darjeeling First Flush 2014. from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 30th, 2014

Last year's (2013) Puttabong was my favorite of the first flush teas, but this year I don't think it held that spot (this year, that would be Risheehat).

This batch was slightly peculiar, and I found a little tricky to brew to satisfaction. I found it worked best when brewed with lower temperature water, and then w...

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Picture of Arya Ruby, Darjeeling First Flush 2014

Arya Ruby, Darjeeling First Flush 2014 from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 28th, 2014

This tea was remarkable, but I don't think it suited my personal tastes as much as the other first flush teas I've sampled from Happy Earth Tea, both this year and last. I can see others liking it more though. Imagine a high-grade Chinese white tea with the typical Darjeeling muscatel nuances superimposed on it.

T...

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Picture of Sungma, Darjeeling Black tea, First Flush 2014

Sungma, Darjeeling Black tea, First Flush 2014 from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

93 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 22nd, 2014

This tea also smelled delightful, better than I remember from last year, and last year's tea was already fantastic. Compared to the other first flush teas, I found it a bit more nutty, but only very slightly so.

Upon brewing, becomes more vegetal than the leaf suggests. Aroma is very floral, suggesting honey and ...

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Picture of Risheehat, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014

Risheehat, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014 from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 20th, 2014

A delightful, very green Darjeeling of the highest quality, sweet, aromatic, and reminiscent of summer.

Reviewing Happy Earth's Teas is always a delightful pleasure...the question is usually, is this going to be among the best of the best teas I've ever sampled? Or is it just going to be a really, really, really fr...

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Picture of Puttabong (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013)

Puttabong (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013) from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jul. 24th, 2013

This was my favorite among the four first flush teas I sampled from Happy Earth Tea, and among my all-time favorite Darjeeling teas.

Dry leaf has a very strong and complex aroma, with fruity, nutty, and herbaceous tones.

Upon brewing, the cup becomes beautifully fragrant. The fruitiness is deeper, a little less ...

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Picture of Risheehat (Organic Darjeeling, First Flush 2013)

Risheehat (Organic Darjeeling, First Flush 2013) from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 22nd, 2013

Yet another very high-quality first flush Darjeeling from Happy Earth Tea. All of their teas that I have sampled have been similar, and all have been excellent.

Dry leaf smells strongly nutty and of caramel, only slightly fruity and floral.

Upon drinking, I found this to be the most brisk and bitter of the four ...

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Picture of Sungma (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013)

Sungma (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013) from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 8th, 2013

Another top-notch Darjeeling first flush from Happy Earth Tea. This is the second tea I've tried from Sungma estate; the other was a second flush that I liked very much.

Dry leaf is very green and has an aroma of fruit and flowers, with strong nutty tones.

The brewed cup smells initially of muscat grape and cara...

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Picture of Arya Black (Organic Darjeeling, First Flush 2013)

Arya Black (Organic Darjeeling, First Flush 2013) from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 5th, 2013

A fantastic tea, but tough to brew well.

Dry leaf looks very green, among the greenest first flush I've seen, and has a typical aroma of Darjeeling first flush: lightly fruity and floral. The label "Black" I find rather humorous: there's nothing remotely black about this tea.

I found this tea to be tricky to bre...

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Picture of Singbulli Darjeeling DJ41

Singbulli Darjeeling DJ41 from Harney and Sons

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 22nd, 2012

After brewing this tea several times, I cautiously dole out yet another perfect score, the second one for a black tea.

Michael Harney sent me this sample after reading a post I wrote on my tea blog about black teas I found interesting, and I can't help but wonder if he hand-picked this one based on my descriptions, ...

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Picture of Thurbo Estate TGBOP Cl/Tip First Flush (DJ-25)

Thurbo Estate TGBOP Cl/Tip First Flush (DJ-25) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 21st, 2011

This was an interesting tea right from the first sip. Although there are some of the typical aromas characteristic of Darjeeling first flush, the overall character is somewhat different from any other teas I have had before.

Greener character, and aroma is more like Indian green teas than black teas: herbaceous ton...

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Picture of Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 1st Flush Black Tea

Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 1st Flush Black Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 26th, 2010

I never cease to be amazed by what comes out of Makaibari estate.

The dry brownish leaves with a few greener leaves mixed in turn noticeably greener upon brewing--most of them become the color of a green tea, with a few olive-colored ones mixed in. The cup is a deep golden hue, no darker than some green teas.

Ar...

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Picture of Castleton Estate TGBOP Ch. First Flush (DJ-25)

Castleton Estate TGBOP Ch. First Flush (DJ-25) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 8th, 2010

Very green character, even more than typical for a first-flush, both in the appearance of the leaves and the aroma. The cup is a deep amber color. The aroma is light and mostly floral, almost reminiscent of queen Anne's lace blossoms. On my second brewing I did detect a faint suggestion of spearmint in the aroma, an...

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Picture of Steinthal Estate TGBOP First Flush (DJ-25) Organic

Steinthal Estate TGBOP First Flush (DJ-25) Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 5th, 2010

Disappointing for a first flush and even among broken-leaf Darjeelings. There's a heaviness to the flavor, even though it is smooth. I'm detecting neither the "fresh floral note" nor the "hint of citrus".

I'm not sure what to recommend with the brewing; if you go longer this tea becomes heavy, although not too bit...

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Picture of Barnesbeg Estate FTGFOP1 First Flush (DJ-6)

Barnesbeg Estate FTGFOP1 First Flush (DJ-6) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 23rd, 2009

This tea has a much greener character, to the point it's barely recognizable as a "black tea", except for some lingering tones in the aftertaste. The cup is a gold color like a darker green tea or lighter oolong. Clean, fresh, a bit mild...I can see what Upton says about the notes of citrus and mint.

Extremely rea...

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