Review of Puttabong, Darjeeling First Flush 2014.

9 of 104 of 54 of 583 of 100
SuperbGoodGood Value

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 when drunk at room temperature and sipped slowly. I'd like to try cold-brewing this for iced tea because I have an intuition it would work well.

The dry leaf has an aroma suggestive of cake or sweet baked goods, perhaps with some nutty qualities; it lacks the explosive floral aroma that most of the other first flush samples this year have shown.

Upon brewing, some even stranger aromas come out...suggestive of tomato and ground beef. But the honey and floral tones are there, and upon drinking, this tea tastes a lot more like a typical first flush. This tea seemed to infuse fast, and I used less leaf than some of the other samples.

I find this tea tastes much better when sipped very slowly. This allows the floral aroma to develop. Somewhat bitter, but I find the bitterness very pleasing.

When hot, this tea has a muted astringency that I can only describe as tasting "gray". I didn't like this. But I found that if I let the tea cool and sipped it slowly, it tasted floral and nutty and I liked that a lot.

Still an excellent tea, I just think I preferred the other samples this year, as well as last year's batch of this one. This year's batch was a bit finicky.

I did find though that this tea resteeped very well, better than most of the other samples.

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