Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2009 Makaibari Imperial Organic 2nd Flush Darjeeling

This is a very oriental inspired black tea from Makaibari. It is a nice diversion from traditional Darjeeling black.

Its small, tightly wound dry leaves smell of faint sweetness and tangy wood-raisin depth.

It's time to make tea. The tea matters, the water matters, the intent matters.

When this tea hits your lips its slick smooth character is immediately obvious, this is as smooth as Darjeeling teas get. Its creamy oxidized taste has a full mouthfeel with mild subtle dryness. The fruity sweetness that ones mind has come to expect with Darjeeling blacks, hasn't materialized. This allows more attention to be given to creamy oxidized notes. This is not to say that this tea is not sweet. The sweetness is more embodied in the aftertaste more than in initial impression.

As the next infusion comes along, a juicy demerara sugar sweetness is often overlooked by the blanketing smooth, bland, oxidized profile of this tea. Some very faint fruitiness can be sensed in all of it too, but, like the sweetness, it is a bit hard to uncover under the overbearing smoothness of this tea.

In later infusions, the sweetness on the breath develops a raisin flavour which seems to become more apparent in later infusions. When brewed with longer infusions the oxidized flavour is more apparent throughout and slippery smooth dryness prevails throughout.



Marisa said...

Hi Matt,

I couldn't agree more with you. As you've put it: when it's time to make tea, the tea matters, the water matters, the intent matters.

The intent matters indeed, a lot. And you know what? I think you express worderfully your intent through your pictures. For me, they're simple and elegant at the same time: beautiful.

I never infused a Darjeeling 2nd flush in a Gong Fu Cha way. Interesting... How many infusions did you do and how long were they? Did you put a great deal of tea in your teapot?

Matt said...


The visuals on your blogs are also stunning. Thanks for taking the time to post about your new found passion.

Darjeeling Gong Fu Cha is the way they brew it in Asia. So, its just an old habit, a good habit. It really lets you become more intimate with the tea- allowing you to disseminate it, reflect on it.

A lot of tea goes into the pot, the pot is filled about 1/3-1/4 full of dry leaf. Usually 5 infusions are about as far as these teas can be stretched, sometimes more, sometimes less.

30sec, 40sec, 50sec, 60sec, 2 min, 5 min but really one doesn't keep track exactly but just plays with the times intuitively.

It's fun playing with tea, overjoying the mind.

Give it a try...

Just for the fun of it!


Anonymous said...

As that Marisa agreed, I too give my approval to the statement that the intent matters. This is what I'm finding out with Pu-erh. A lot of people matter in bringing the right Pu-erh to market. To me, they're on a par with Darjeelings for this reason. --Spirituality of Tea

Matt said...


Puerh is really tricky because, unfortunately, there are too many people out there trying to just make the most personal of there personal gain.

Bless those who truly love the tea and the wonderful puerh that comes from them.


Marisa said...

Thanks Matt!

And thank you for this detailed information as well.
I really like the way you put things: preparing tea in such a way you'll become intimate with it. It's quite a huge thing, isn't it? I mean, you can get really high :-) ;-) by achieving that, don't you?

I'll definitely try that: both Darjeeling GFC and overjoy my mind brewing tea intuitively (even if my mind always wants to keep track).

Matt said...



Get high. Get intimate. Overjoy your mind.

Drink tea.