Review of Darjeeling (Sachets)

6 of 105 of 55 of 577 of 100

I fell in love with Hampstead tea's loose-leaf Darjeeling some time ago, and it was not before picking up some samples at World Tea East this year that I had an opportunity to try any of their tea bags.

This is called a "sachet" but it's not a pyramid bag--just a humble tea bag. The tea inside is pretty broken up, not nearly as intact as in the loose-leaf version of this tea. Compared to the loose-leaf tea, this tea is more uniformly brown in color. The tea bag itself was not particularly aromatic, and I was actually expecting to be disappointed.

But in spite of that, when brewing the tea, I found an explosion of aroma. Grape-like tones, a few peppery qualities, both floral and fruity. Yes! This is the same tea that I love loose, and much of its complexity is captured. It has the classic aromatic tones of teas from Makaibari estate, which will please people like me who particularly enjoy this estate's teas. Flavor is ever-so-slightly bitter, in a pleasing way. Full-bodied, with perhaps a bit more lingering astringency than the loose-leaf.

I had good luck steeping for 3 minutes, and then resteeping. If you're a die-hard tea enthusiast though, you'll still prefer the loose-leaf. It is noticeably more aromatic and complex, and has a smoother finish with less astringency.

The price is quite reasonable on these. They really blow away any other black teas that you can get in mainstream supermarkets in this price range. I think they're on par with the higher-end brands that sell for $6-8 for a box of 15-20, and they are at a fraction of the price, and are eco-friendly to boot.

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