Review of Donyi Polo Estate SFTGFOP Tippy Cl.

7 of 104 of 52 of 571 of 100
Very GoodGoodOverpriced

This tea threw me off because it was so radically different from what I was expecting. It's only my second tea ever from Arunachal, and I didn't know what to expect, but based on the location, I was expecting a darker, Assam-like tea, and it was instead, a light, Darjeeling-like tea. I think Upton's description is poor: I did not notice the aromatic notes (Burgundy? Dried Fruit? Biscuit?) that Upton references.

Dry leaf has a sweet, light vegetal aroma more suggestive of a Darjeeling than an Assam. There's a strong suggestion of wintergreen, which made me excitted to brew it, but I was disappointed when this note failed to come through in the brewed cup.

The cup is intensely fruity, much more like a Darjeeling than an Assam, with skunky notes in the background. The fruitiness is like fresh fruit, especially grape, not at all like dried fruit as Upton's description suggests. Light and with a cooling character. Surprisingly thin-bodied and light. When hot, crisp, and almost a bit harsh; burns my tongue easily; I needed to wait for it to cool more than with most teas, before drinking it. Although the tea is buttery-smooth on my tongue, I find it oddly astringent around the edges of my mouth.

Resteeped very well; the second cup was much like the first but softer and slightly less aromatically interesting. Left an odd tingling sensation on the palate.

Overall, this tea was fascinating but I wasn't that thrilled by the experience of drinking it. It seemed heavily caffeinated and left me feeling a little wired and on edge, while being oddly unsatisfying. I have this reaction to some Darjeelings.

This tea was very pricey, I think quite overpriced actually. At $16.10 for only 100 grams, this is competing with some of the top-quality artisan teas. I don't know if I'm being so harsh on this tea because of it not jiving with my expectations, but overall this just doesn't seem worth it. This was only my second tea I tried from Arunachal, but the first (the Sibya one from TeaOrb) was really exquisite, and cheaper to boot. Maybe it's a question of personal tastes though, they were very different teas and are hard to compare.

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