Good morning, dear tea friends! Today I’m conducting an experiment, which I hope to continue over the course of the next several months. In my cup this morning is a 2-year-old first flush Darjeeling from the Thurbo Estate. Yes, that’s right. It was harvested in the spring of 2011.
The 2013 first flushes haven’t arrived yet and it sounds like they had a drought, which has resulted in the season getting started later. Samples so far of those teas harvested have been green and not very flavorful. Ok, let’s get started.
Interestingly enough, I reviewed this very tea on April 23, 2011 here. Wonderful! Let’s compare. Back then, I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes. Today I steeped the leaves for 4 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. I love the amazing variegation of leaf size and color of this tea!
I didn’t have my micro lens back then so now I can get closer to see the different leaf sizes. Look at the fine hairs on the tiny leaf.
Back in 2011, I found this tea to be very fragrant with an aroma of celery. Today, I found the tea to be still quite fragrant, however, I didn’t detect any celery aroma. The tea smelled quite green (vegetal) with a floral nuance.
The tea liquor is still a light caramel color with a very smooth, light flavor and notes of tropical fruit, like an unripe banana. I often find this flavor note in first flush teas.
It is obvious to me that this tea has been stored very well and it’s still quite flavorful. The main difference I detected was in the astringency factor. I was able to steep the leaves for a minute longer without it developing that characteristic “bite” so it appears to have mellowed out, a positive thing for me.
This is a perfect example of how you can take the same tea and need to adjust the steeping time as the tea ages. This tea has satisfied this first flush lover!
Stay tuned for more experimentation and, hopefully, a review of a 2013 first flush by April! Have a great week!
“There is a certain part of all of us that lives outside of time. Perhaps we become aware of our age only at exceptional moments and most of the time we are ageless.” ~Milan Kundera
That cup of tea looks so delightful. Great review!!! 🙂
It’s like a wine tasting, but less calories.
A fun experiment! And one that I should try.