Friday, February 15, 2013

Review: Bungalow by Steven Smith Teamaker

On my last visit to the local health food store, I noticed all of the Steven Smith teas were on sale. These are usually expensive teas, so I decided to spring for one. I took home Bungalow, which is a Darjeeling blend. I chose this tea because it is a mix of first and second flush Darjeeling and I can't remember trying such a blend before. If you've been following this blog, you'll know that I love a good cup of Darjeeling.

First flush Darjeeling teas are picked in early spring, and have a subtle, fresh flavor. The second flush leaves are harvested in June and are full bodied with strong muscatel notes that I usually associate with Darjeeling. I was interested to see how this blend would allow for the different flavors of both the first and second flush teas to come through.
As soon as I opened the package, I was hit with a strong floral scent mixed with a lingering sweetness. As it steeps there is a mellow, toasted hay-like aroma that transforms into a strong muscatel scent.

From the first sip, it takes like a second flush Darjeeling. That strong muscatel with lightly sweet notes and a slight bitterness. There is a subtle hint of hazelnut and butter. The bitterness lingers slightly. I'm not sure that I'd recognize the first flush flavors in this cup, but it is still a rather satisfying Darjeeling. When steeping this tea, pay close attention to the time. Another extra few seconds will make this tea quite bitter, as I experienced with one my cups.

This tea has a strong caffeine punch. I had two (very large) mugs of it this morning, and I'm happily buzzing through my day. This makes a great early morning cup, but select something else in the afternoon if you are sensitive to caffeine. It is a full bodied tea which is perfect for this chilly, dreary NYC winter. I'm happy that I picked up this box of tea

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