Tea: Darjeeling (Loose)

A Darjeeling Black Tea from Ahmad Tea

Picture of Darjeeling (Loose)
Brand:Ahmad Tea
Style:Darjeeling Black Tea
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Loose?Loose
# Ratings:4 View All
Product page:Darjeeling (Loose)

Review of Darjeeling (Loose)

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 104 of 55 of 583 of 100
ExcellentGoodOutstanding

Like most of Ahmad's Teas, impressive quality. Much darker in color than Ahmad's Darjeeling tea bags though; a surprisingly different tea. Both are good, but this is much more complex.

Dry leaf has a very pleasant aroma, with a strong suggestion of wintergreen, rice, and muscat grape. This is one of the most aromatic teas from Ahmad, yet its aroma is very light: fresh, fruity, and almost candy-like but with enough herbaceous qualities to impart depth.

Upon brewing, produces a relatively dark liquor for a Darjeeling. Aroma is very light and has more of a classic British character, less vegetal than most single-estate Darjeelings I've sampled. Aroma is of wintergreen, rice, and grapes, but the grape character is a little less muscatel than some teas (less skunky for one) and a little simpler.

The flavor is surprisingly bold. Although the color of the cup is light, this is probably the strongest-tasting Ahmad Tea I've had yet. It also seems to be the most caffeinated.

Thick mouthfeel but smooth, producing a buttery texture, a lot like high-grown Taiwanese oolongs and high grades of Darjeeling. Reminiscent of a medium roast Dong Ding, without the roast. Even though the leaf is broken, the flavor profile is similar to many high grades; although the overall character of the cup is relatively dark, there are quite a few greener leaves in the mix.

Ahmad recommends steeping 5-7 minutes; although I normally like (and follow) Ahmad's recommendations of longer steeping times, I found that for this tea it was far too long. The tea even overwhelmed me a bit, even using less than one teaspoon of leaf. I settled on using a 3 minute infusion and slightly less than one teaspoon. That still produced a strong cup. I was then able to brew a second, flavorful infusion very easily. The second cup was milder, and a little more vegetal in character, but very enjoyable.

A great value buy--even though the price is higher than Ahmad's other teas, the leaf stretches so far and is so full of flavor, and this competes favorably with many higher-priced Darjeelings I've had from other companies.

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Comments:

Sylvia wrote:
on December 24th, 2013

Wow, my experience of the brewing time and amount of leaf needed for this tea was really different from yours.

Alex Zorach wrote:
on December 24th, 2013

I wonder if this is a function of you using cream and sugar, vs. me drinking it straight.

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