Review of Darjeeling Black Tea

AromaFlavorValueTotal
7 of 104 of 54 of 571 of 100
Very GoodGoodGood Value

We first found this in an estate-sale pantry. Then my wife bought another box, because she enjoyed it as a morning and midday tea, when she didn't want something quite as potent as her favorite Assam or Irish breakfast blends. Loath to pilfer her teas and disharmonize domestic tranquility, I've just had a couple bags.

Unusually, the dry-bag aroma caught my attention the most. The finely chopped leaves smelled distinctly of unsweetened bran flakes or similar packaged cereal, as well as black tea. That was different, though not a turn-off. The steeping liquid darkened nicely as you probably would expect. I definitely discovered the astringent character of this, but curiously, just in the first sip of the cup, and in the aftertaste from each sip. The aftertaste astringency was really persistent and consistent too—not so much that seemed like I had chugged witch hazel—but enough to notice nonetheless. Bitterness was below my nuisance threshold and concentrated predominantly late in the aftertaste phase. Mostly, in between, it was an evenhanded, medium-bodied, likeable black tea, not as strong as I would prefer, but not annoyingly feeble either.

I'll think of this as the "middle ground" tea, not in the sense of being average rating-wise, but instead as a pleasant if uninspiring beverage having only a few, mainly low-grade characteristics that stand out. This might be a good product for folks to start in chronic tea drinking, being enjoyable enough to bother with, yet nothing outstandingly great or awful, then use as a baseline calibration against which to assess future black tea.

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