Tea: Puttabong (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013)

A Darjeeling First Flush from Happy Earth Tea - O Organic

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Puttabong (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013)
Brand:Happy Earth Tea
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
# Ratings:2 View All

Review of Puttabong (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013)

10 of 105 of 55 of 597 of 100

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 like the typical muscatel aroma of Darjeelings, and more like stone fruit. Hints of wintergreen or mint, and vegetal and herbaceous tones.

I'm not sure if I would describe this tea as having "a hint of malt", it's more like it has a hint of caramelly sweetness to it. It is richer and deeper than other first flush that has as much lightness and fruitiness to it.

Flavor is sweet, and overall mouthfeel is smooth. Nectar-like, but leaving a fresh sensation on the palate.

There's a bitter herbaceous, almost skunky quality that lingers in the finish; I don't know how to describe it any other way but it's a lot more pleasant than I'm making it sound. I really like this aspect of the tea...it gives it more depth and complexity than it would otherwise have. Some teas this smooth can strike me as syrupy, and I felt like it was the slight bitter undertones in the finish that really made this tea for me.

I also tried cold-brewing this tea as iced tea, using the same amount of leaf per cup and leaving it overnight in the refrigerator. The result was a much lighter-colored cup, clear, which had a very bold flavor and intensely floral fragrance upon sipping. Most of the nuances of the hot tea were still present in this tea, including the caramel quality, and the suggestion of stone fruit, mint or wintergreen, and the darker herbaceous tones. Although I liked the strength of cup produced in this manner, I think it extracted much more caffeine than typical brewing; the resulting cup seemed strongly caffeinated to me, so keep that in mind.

When brewing fresh, this tea easily makes 2 infusions, and can make three with care.

This is a top-grade artisan tea, but its price is quite reasonable...it's under $20 for 4 ounces. Not cheap, but lower price than some tea of this grade (SFTGFOP1) and I think a very good deal.

It is my favorite of the samples from Happy Earth Tea.

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