Darjeeling Thurbo Tea by Curious Tea | Day 31 of 100 Days

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea, black tea

Today’s post is about the second tea from the Curious Tea subscription box – a Darjeeling tea from the Thurbo Estate.

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The Thurbo Estate is well known for producing fine quality Darjeeling teas. This tea is harvested from the 1st flush, meaning the first leaves of the season in spring. Thus 1st flush teas have the best flavour and are more highly prized.

Indian teas, have a grading system based on letters, I won’t get into it in this post as it can get more technical but in short, FTGFOP is one of the top grades, meaning it has high proportion of good quality tea buds and young leaves that have not been broken in processing = the most highly prized grade of tea. You can tell from the abundance of orange and lighter coloured leaves that are mixed in with the black tea.

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As you’d expect with from all the fanfare on this packaging the tea is quite delicious. Dry or steeped, the leaves have a wonderful fruity and floral character, with dominant notes of stonefruit – peach to be exact. The liquor tastes light and refreshing. Even though this is technically a black tea, it tastes amazingly light and refreshing, even when brewed up the liquor is a faint peach toned clear liquid. It has virtually no dryness or astringency that you’d associate with black teas. Although Darjeeling is technically a black tea, because in processing it is less oxidized than other black teas, the tea doesn’t develop the malty taste that other black teas, which are fully oxidized, have.

With its fruity, floral bouquet, I’d say this Darjeeling lives up to the reputation that Darjeeling teas have as the ‘champagne’ of teas. Drink this and you’ll be sniffing, and swirling the tea without even knowing it!

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Ceylon Tea Vithanakande Estate by Capital Tea Ltd | Day 27 of 100 Days of Tea

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea, black tea

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Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, produces some gems in the world of tea, even though tea is relatively new as an agricultural crop when you compare their history to that of China or India.

This tea from Capital Tea Ltd. is harvested from the Vithanakande Estate.

The leaves are sorted well, being of a uniform size, and are twisted nicely, looking quite good even though this particular tea is a BOP grade. BOP stands for broken orange pekoe, which is one level below whole leaf orange pekoe. BOP indicates that the leaves have been broken up and not kept whole.

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Preparation:

1 heaping tsp of tea

250 mL of freshly boiled water

Steep for 3 min

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Tea notes:

The top notes are malt, honey, caramel; some sweet potatoes as well in the mid notes. It has a smooth, full-bodied texture, very satisfying sweet-savoury presence that goes well in the morning.  The finish is smooth with hints of dryness at the end, not too astringent.

I did a second and 3rd infusion, and can note that the tea gets increasingly drying (unsurprisingly) with subsequent infusions, while the caramel/malty flavour is still there, just a tad weaker.

What I enjoyed about this tea is how it isn’t the brisk type of tea one normally associates with breakfast, that has you reaching for milk and sugar immediately, but instead goes down smoothly. I drank this tea straight, for all 3 infusions and it was quite pleasant on its own each time.

My pairing suggestion for this tea? Definitely something you can serve with brunch! Think eggs, hash browns, toast, pancakes, etc.

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Day 21 of 100 Days of Tea | Lapsang Souchong Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea, black tea

One of my favourite teas so far, is Lapsang Souchong, and this one by Tao Tea Leaf was quite enjoyable. Its a deliciously smoky tea that if you smell with your eyes closed reminds me of smoked salmon. Granted smoked seafood isn’t usually something you normally think would smell good with tea, but I promise you somehow the smokiness that this tea has tastes quite delicious.

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The smokiness isn’t overpowering, in fact its just right so that even if you paired the tea with something like a smoked oyster appetizer (amuse-bouche style), they still complement each other without being too smoky.

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Granted, smoky tea is still more of an acquired taste. I found the overall flavour to be similar to other toward Asian herbal remedies that I’ve tried on occasion, so I don’t find it as foreign as some of my friends who think smoke seems quite out of place in a tea. This is one tea you would drink on its own, and definitely not add any milk nor sugar. It leans towards a more savoury, Asian-style herbal flavour profile with medium body.

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Overall, this is a decent option to try if you have not yet sampled Lapsang Souchong before, which I think every tea lover should try at least once.

Day 16 of 100 Days of Tea | Lady Grey by Capital Tea

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea, black tea

Lady Grey is quite a proper sounding tea, and it tastes quite ladylike too, so much that I immediately visualized silk scarves and tea cups when I took my first sip.

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Unfortunately yours truly has not built up a tea cup collection yet worthy of this tea, but this Codello scarf seemed quite appropriate to capture the character of the tea.

This version of Lady Grey is from Capital Tea Ltd. I do love a good citrus scent, and in terms of aroma, the bergamot flavour is quite strong, so much that I found I had to store it in a glass jar to protect other food items from taking on the citrus scent.

The tea brews up with a nice fragrance, not losing any of its potency when steeped. I was able to get multiple infusions out of this as well, which made for a great morning of tea.

Closeup you can see the pieces of orange / lemon peels and rose petals,

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Its so dainty I feel guilty drinking it out of a mug, I am sure Queens and Ladies would cringe at this.

Overall, a great breakfast tea that I would reach for again on Saturday mornings where I have the luxury of time to make as many infusions as I want…

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Day 15 of 100 Days of Tea | Marco Polo Black Tea by Capital Tea Limited

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea, black tea

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Recently, I had the opportunity to try Marco Polo tea from an acquaintance. It is a flavoured black tea, and I found it brews up differently from how it smells in the bag!

When dry, I had the strangest impressions of the flavour, it reminded me of a childhood snack of sweet and sour dried plum that my relatives would tout as a remedy for car-sickness. I actually quite enjoyed that snack, so it was a positive impression, but wow, how wrong was I once I steeped the leaves!

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Once brewed, the aroma of the leaves and the liquid was of dark, velvety chocolate. And it didn’t stop there, it was an earthy chocolate with berry flavours, along with the faintest hint of tartness.

Now these flavours were subtle, they were not something overly flavoured that hit you right in the face, but more subtle yet clearly present.

The second infusion retained a lot of flavour as well, though with a bit of astringency at the end. Still, I liked the understated profile of the tea as I found when working it was calming but helped me focus, unlike some dessert teas that have so much character that they ‘need’ attention.

Overall, this tea is something that I would enjoy for more relaxed occasions – be it listening to music, or writing.

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