Monday, April 27, 2009

2009 Castleton Estate FTGFOP 1CH (SPL) 1st Flush Darjeeling

When one thinks of Castleton one recalls a conversation between Mr. Rowatt, the manager of Goomtee and Mr. Lochan, the founder of Lochan teas. They were snickering about a customer that either did or was going to mix both Goomtee Estate tea and Castleton Estate tea and try to sell it as Goomtee-Castleton tea. That was rather an interesting idea, mixing some teas together to achieve a more complete or interesting taste. Hummm....

Aways, lets try this Castleton Estate exclusive tea produced at altitudes between 980-2300 meters.

The dry leaves are a vibrant, light, foresty colour and are finely scented with very little muscatel, a touch of grape. These leaves seem lighter green than others and the product has a very full leaf look and feel.

The first infusion is prepared and results in a soft dry grape. A green high forest grape. Immediately the mouth is coated. This in itself is as alluring as its taste.

The second infusion explores this dryness and results in a mouth puckering liquid that, in all honesty is a bit over the top. This tea develops a gritty bitterness, with nice dry, high up in the forested Himalaya, grape taste.

In the third infusion everything just comes together. It was one of those tea moments when everything just works. The shallow but alerting cha qi kicks in. Its mouthfeel now becomes full but manageable. The taste is a mix of deep forest and grape. It creates a wild-in-the-jungle grapelike taste. These tastes are light and mingle about with sincerity in the mouth.

Other infusions result in similarly respectable pots of tea. The taste becomes grittier and more wild. This tea does a good job of staying tasty and full but, as expected, becomes a bit more diluted as the session progresses. It finishes nicely quite possibly due to such a good leaf which is evident in the photos.

A good session it was with this tea from Castleton Estate.


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