Review of Darjeeling Finest Blend

AromaFlavorValueTotal
7 of 104 of 53 of 563 of 100
Very GoodGoodReasonable

This tea gets a B+ on quality and a C- on marketing and presentation. The name suggests it is a Darjeeling, but the description (and flavor) betrays that it is actually a blend of a Darjeeling and a Ceylon. I think this is a borderline shady marketing practice: Darjeeling is obviously the more prestigious name, so blending it with tea from a less prestigious region seems disingenuous.

Also, there's the fact that "Darjeeling blend" is a widely-used term in the tea industry and tea company marketing material, to refer to blends of black teas strictly from Darjeeling, which can include both blends of teas from different gardens or estates, and to blends from different harvests or flushes. When I read "Darjeeling finest blend" in the title, I think that it's a blend of only Darjeeling tea, NOT a blend of Darjeeling with tea from other regions. So I'm docking Murchie's serious points in this review. I would strongly prefer if they named this "Darjeeling-Ceylon Blend", or instead picked a neutral name: either mention neither region, or mention both.

Dry leaf is dark in color and not very aromatic.

Upon brewing, the flavor is a lot like what I'd expect from a Darjeeling-Ceylon blend, with a few of the characteristic Darjeeling qualities but against a background of a more typical black tea. I enjoyed it a lot: this is an easy drinking tea.

The cup has a pleasant aroma of grain or sweet baked goods. There's a light hint of fruitiness, but overall, there is less of the muscatel or grape aroma than typical for Darjeelings. Flavor is mild and quite sweet. Medium-to-light body with a light astringency through the sip and into the finish.

Tastes fine if steeped for either 3 or 5 minutes, I wouldn't go any longer, and I also would be cautious not to use too much leaf, as the astringency gets a bit overbearing if the tea is brewed more strongly.

Price is okay. Murchie's has teas in a similar price range or cheaper that I think are just as good or better.

I would give this a higher rating based on flavor alone but the marketing really irked me. I would urge Murchie's to clear this up. I am a big fan of them as a company, and this kind of practice, even if it was previously common in the tea industry, strikes me as at least a little bit dishonorable. Part of the reason for me founding RateTea in the first place was to put pressure on tea companies to clear this sort of thing up, so here we go: feel the pressure!

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