Darjeeling Black Tea

Picture of Darjeeling Black Tea
Brand:Rituals
Style:Darjeeling Black Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Region:Darjeeling, India
Loose/teabag:Teabag

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Reviewer pic79 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
(386 reviews) on

Here's another new Rituals tea for me (and this website), also first sampled at the Days Inn in Hays, KS. As usual, and even though Hays water isn't bad, I also hauled a bag home to try on my well water for fair comparison with other ratings.

Upon ripping open the foil-lined package, the smell that greeted my nostrils was...weak, but rather nice, and certainly consistent with the stated origin. The in-cup aroma came in a little better defined, but still nowhere nearly as sharp as the taste. Its flavor was unusually strong for a food-service black tea of any sort, somewhat surprisingly bitter without crossing the line, a little astringent, mostly dry, characteristically musky, and even a bit malty at times, but without a spicy element. Based on what I've read about Darjeelings as a non-expert, and how this one tastes, it's either from the second (pre-monsoon) flush or the 4th (fall) flush, both of which are supposed to contain the musky flavor element. The aftertaste gets a bit tangy or even fruity, which carries over into early the next sip.

This was a strangely complex tea for a bagged food-service product. Could it succeed on its own as a direct retail offering? You bet, as long as the supplier doesn't change the source and production methods. As with the Rituals jasmine green that I recently reviewed, folks in the hospitality, transportation and convention-serving industries absolutely could do worse than order some of this to put in the tea rack for their clientele.
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