Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Teabag - Darjeeling

Tea: Darjeeling
Vendor: Tea Forte
Price: $24.00 / 20 teapyramids
Source: Darjeeling, India
Vendor Description: Our Estate Darjeeling brings the fresh crisp qualities of its origins in the Himalayan mountain foothills to every cup. An undercurrent of roasted nuts and soft floral notes permeate each sip. Contains caffeine.

Teabag: This is the first true pyramid style teabag that I have had the chance to review. It is very impressive in both construction and appearance. Ever since I first found out about Tea Forte, I wanted to try them out. Their teabags have a very refined presence to them. They are not just stuffed into a foil packet like some other teabags, these hold their form and have a small paper box wrapped around the pyramid. The leaf on the end of the string is very decorative and classy. If you ever wanted a teabag that would impress someone, or some guests, this is the one to have. They are almost more of a conversation piece than just a teabag.

1st Infusion: The infusion has a very sweet smelling Darjeeling aroma to it. The flavor was very light for a Darjeeling. It was generally pleasant, with a light sense of astringency to it. The Darjeeling flavor itself could stand to be more prominent and stronger.

After Infusing: Given the rather weak flavor of the first infusion I did not try to make a second infusion. I even tried steeping this one for about 3 minutes before tasting, but the flavor didn't seem to come out of the teabag. After the teabag was used though it became somewhat apparent as to the cause. The leaves swell more than the space in the pyramid allow for, applying pressure on the sides of the teabag and hindering the infusion. Also the mesh of the bag was a bit denser than most of the other teabags of similar material. This prevented the water from passing through the tea very well.

Rating: 3/10

Conclusion: The tea itself was not very impressive, and the teabag itself had most of the fame for this test, but the teabag was the culprit for this particular rating. The teabag as impressive as it looks hindered the tea from infusing well, producing a less than stellar cup of tea. I'm curious to see if this is a result of the Darjeeling itself or of the general design of the teabags.

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