I am always excited to try new teas. Even when it's a tea I've had many times before, I am always eager to taste, and see how the flavor is different than what I've experienced in the past. There are so many little nuances to tea which can be caused not only by the region and processing, but by the climate of the particular season. When my friend Yosh O. asked if I wanted to sample a Darjeeling she was given from a friend that visited India, I of course jumped at the chance.
The brand is Mittal's. I don't know much about it, but they seem to distribute a few different types of Indian teas. This tea gift came in a lovely carved wooden box. Upon opening the box there is a sealed foil bag containing the tea. The leaves are a descent size, and quite dark with a few green, and gold leaves throughout.
This tea tastes much different than many Darjeelings I've had. It is very smooth, and has a strong honey note that I've never noticed in a Darjeeling before. It is delicate and floral as well, with the muscatel taste that I've come to associate with Darjeeling teas. There is a hint of bitterness in the background, along with a dryness. Due to the delicate flavor and the darker leaves, I'd guess it is a second flush tea. While doing a little more research, I learned from this site that the distinctive muscatel flavor comes from a reaction that the tea plant has when a type of insect sucks juices from the stems!
Darjeeling tea holds a special place for me, as it is the first tea that made me realize there are a wide variety of teas out there, and they don't all just taste like Lipton.