Sixty-nine Shades of Darjeeling – The First

Milk and sugarIt’s been a week of tea drinking…lots of darjeeling, but with some sidetrips to assam and points north. Look for a post on Thursday about our little adventure to Shaharazade’s Exotic Tea Room, where I took a break from darjeelings.

During the week however, I managed to get in plenty of samples from my All the Black Darjeelings Sampler from Teabox.

Each tea I brew as instructed, sample without additions, and then with. My little friends milk and sugar then made an appearance. So let’s head out.

2014 Goomtee Muscatel (Summer)

Picked May 23, 2014

This Goomtee offering is a delight. These leaves were picked from the high elevation regions in Majhua Narbada division of Goomtee, known as “Muscatel Valley”. It has been a long wait for the tea makers of Goomtee factory, but this tea has proven to be worth it. Bright sunny days, misty evenings and perfect temperature produced these delicate buds. This tea has all the characters of a rich, intense Darjeeling which begins with fruitiness and develops into muscatel touch.

Very flavoursome, and just as rich as the description would lead you to believe. I usually like to drink my tea with milk and sugar (I know the HORROR!), but this is a tea I could drink straight. However, when I added milk and sugar it became a lot more floral in nature.

This is a strong tea that I would probably choose to drink in the afternoon for a pick-me up. I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the Goomtee Estate has to offer with more samples to come! This is a pretty strong start to the sample box.

Margarets Hope (Autumn)

Picked November, 2013

The dry leaves include a mix of brown/black leaves with few golden tips and smells of dark chocolate. When brewed for 5 minutes, the brewed leaves give a lemon like scent that captivates all the senses.

Definitely a light brew. Couldn’t quite smell the chocolate supposedly in there, but I would think this would make a nice evening or morning drink for me. The addition of milk and sugar made it very sippable, but I think this was such a light tea all I ended up tasting was the additions.

Badamtam Clonal Flowery (Spring)

Picked Spring 2014

An excellent clonal flowery tea from Badamtam made from pure AV2 clones. Over the last two years, in every first flush, we have been providing excellent first flush Badamtam teas made especially for us from their AV2 (a very high flavour) plant. A slight sip presents a bouquet of flowers, and a deeper swirl in the mouth presents an array of superb fruits. An enchanting and exciting tea.

This was the most green/light yellow coloured tea I’ve seen so far. In fact, I was surprised how light the leaves were, almost like a green tea. That did show up in the flavour of the tea too. It was alright with milk and sugar, but the lightness of the tea did mean the additions overpowered it.

Regal Blend (Summer)

Delicately crafted to lock the intense aroma of summer teas, this starts out with sweet, ripened fruity notes that extend to a caramelised taste. The fullness and strength of this will last long after the tea is gone.

Strong scent in the bag, but with an underlying sweetness. For how dark the tea leaves are, it is light in the mouth. Again this was another one I preferred without additions…weird for me!

Seeyok Muscatel (Summer) Organic

Try out this exotic Darjeeling Muscatel that is round, smooth yet grand cup of tea. An exotic, tasteful and aromatic muscatel Second Flush tea from Seeyok, this comes with high praise from our experts who was blown away by it. Its shimmery black appearance is visual delight to the eye that seems to add to the overall oomph of the tea. And if that’s not enough, this strong bodied black tea leaves a distinct aftertaste, having a nice muscatel taste with hints of black grapes and honey. Whether you want to savour the exotic flavours of this tea alone, or with a larger audience, it is pretty fantastic.

An almost sweet scent. Light and refreshing in the mouth without addition, and with sugar and milk the honey notes become really obvious. Interestingly this one is marked as low caffeine so might be able to give to my husband in the evening without him risking staying awake for hours! My second muscatel, and I beginning to suspect they could be among my favourites—but I have quite a few more to try before then!

Himalayan Special (Autumn)

This tea has been manufactured at a higher temperature that is evident from the brewed leaves. The dark red coloured liquor leaves a strong mint aftertaste. One has to experience to understand the complexity of this tea.

This is a strong cup of tea, and I love it! Additions do not overpower the tastes of the tea, and does have a slightly caramel taste (which I am learning I like).


So from all those teas, I need to keep track of which ones are my favourites; the idea is to locate the ones for drinking later after all!


Top Teas So Far

  • Himalayan Special
  • Seeyok Muscatel (Summer) Organic
  • 2014 Goomtee Muscatel (Summer)
  • Margarets Hope (Autumn)


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