Sunday, April 13, 2008

Okayti Darjeeling Autumn Flush

Tea: Okayti Darjeeling Autumn Flush
Vendor: Mighty Leaf
Price: $15.95 / 4 oz.
Source: Darjeeling, India
Vendor Description: Okayti Autumn Flush Darjeeling harvested in the autumn after the rainy season brews up a brisk and full-bodied cup. Sourced from prestigious Okayti tea estate nestled in the hills of Darjeeling, India, this Autumn Flush Darjeeling has a similar, but somewhat less delicate aroma and muscatel taste characteristic of Second Flush Darjeelings. With tippy brown and black tea leaves this tea yields a consistently smooth and flavorful liquor.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea was nothing unexpected. The leaf was a variety of colors, ranging from black to almost a silver needle color. This reminded me of pretty much any other Darjeeling in both size and shape. The hues were a bit different than a first flush though. The colors were slightly browner and reminded me of a set of fall colors.

1st Infusion: This tea had a very thick aroma to it, it reminded me of the smell of a kitchen somehow. I'm not sure how it was, but it was similar to the aroma felt very strong and heavy. The flavor is also thick and soft. There was a light sense of astringency and a medium body. The flavor is not as sharp as some of the other first flush darjeelings. It almost feels like there are two different flavors going on here. I could not really discern what each reminds me of, but there were two different peaks of flavor here. The flavor though was very smooth. The flavor profile for this was very complicated and I found myself trying to search through the flavor down to the last sip.

2nd Infusion: The aroma was a bit lighter in this infusion, but there was still a very strong component to it. It was as if some of the aroma had left, but what gave off the strong feeling still remained. This infusion tasted more like a first flush darjeeling, the flavor was concentrated toward the front of the taste and sharper. There was a medium sense of astringency to it, and the taste was very clean feeling now and the flavor was lighter. Yet the flavor was still rich and full bodied.

Rating: 9/10

Conclusion: This was a very excellent tea. The flavor was complex and characteristic. Unfortunately the flavor felt as though it was a bit too complicated and there was too much going on. The price of the tea is also a very good price for a single estate darjeeling.

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