Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Chi of Tea
The Red Panda always picks freshest Darjeeling teas! The Red Panda is the mascot of the International Tea Festival in Darjeeling! This blend of farm fresh Darjeeling tea comes from the Red Panda’s personal stash of 2010 Second Flushes and 2010 Autumn Flushes. Creating a rich, yet balanced cup with rich notes of muscatel grapes and sweet florals.
This is one of the very best – if not THE best – second flush Darjeeling teas I’ve encountered. It is so incredible!
As some of you may know, I have been on a quest to find that “ideal” Darjeeling – one that matches that very first Darjeeling experience that I had several years ago. I had come to the conclusion that I put that particular Darjeeling on such a high pedestal that no Darjeeling – no matter how good – could match it. But now… I think I have found the Darjeeling that is worthy to take that coveted place.
Now, I’m not saying that this is the same Darjeeling … instead, I think this one is better. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a Darjeeling quite like this one.
It has such a lovely sweetness to it which is a perfect compliment to the muscatel of this Darjeeling. The muscatel is fruity and slightly floral, with just a hint of musk. This possesses that “Darjeeling” crispness but it is different because it doesn’t come across as astringent as other Darjeeling teas. It is also a different crispness because this Darjeeling is not as light-bodied as a typical Darjeeling. So while this does taste crisp and clean, it also has more body and substance to it.
There is no bitterness to this tea. It is incredibly smooth and absolutely delicious. The aftertaste leaves me with a pleasing muscatel essence and a hint of that honey-esque sweetness. Truly a lovely experience, this Darjeeling!
This tea is available in very limited quantities. At the time of this writing, there were only 14 samples left – and by the time this review publishes, it may be sold out (in which case, I’m sorry!) A truly fantastic Darjeeling – I do hope that Chi of Tea is able to get more in stock!