Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012 Giddapahar Estate SFTGFOP 1 CL TPY Second Flush Darjeeling

Victoria is a perfect climate to drink 2nd flush Dajeeling tea so one makes the point of picking up a big bag of the stuff every year. It steeps up quick, cheap, and hard to oversteep- perfect for no frills everyday drinking. Last year one asked Mr. Lochan of Lochan Teas to send his favorite tea and he sent a second flush from Castleton Estate. That tea was full of vibrant, fairly complex, pure, high muscatel notes- things which are prized more and more these days in Darjeeling teas. It seems to be a trend worldwide that more young, vibrant, greener, lower oxidized, higher note tastes are being favored over deeper, higher oxidized, and more grounding tastes. This is as true for the oolongs of China as it is for the second flush teas of Darjeeling. Last year's Castleton was no doubt a great Darjeeling tea, that is if you are into those kind of qualities. One prefers much deeper, heavier, more traditional notes from a second flush. That Castleton of last year lacked weight, grit, and heavy qualities, characteristics that one favors in second flush Darjeeling Teas. This was especially apparent as the infusions progressed in the Gong Fu preparation of this tea.

This year one decided to go back to basics in hopes of enjoying a more classic taste of Darjeeling with a large bag from Giddapahar Estate through Lochan Teas. Giddapahar Estate is no-nonsense estate with production equipment that is old enough to be in a museum. Let's take a look at the dry leaves...

The dark mix of leaves smell of rich, smooth, tart currants with some smoothing out in the nose underneath.

 The first infusion is prepared and a tangy, sweet, simple taste develops into something with more meaty, savory undertones and a slight suggestion of unsweetedned bakers chocolate. It leaves behind a meaty, savory, currant flavour in the mouth. The mouthfeel feels full but doesn't cover the full tongue and leaves some patchy spots behind.

The second infusion contains tangy, soft, tart sweetness in its initial profile with some unpertentious fruit notes as well. Characteristic, distant, deeper muscatel notes are sensed. The taste is heavy in nature, like a fruity deep or mid note as opposed to unrooted high notes. The qi is strong, raw, and alerting imparting a slight heavy sensation on the head and pushing slightly at the bowels.

The third infusion has more of a woody undertone with thin currants in the distance. The wood notes have an interesting depth to them. The mouthfeel has thinned slightly now and is a soft grainy texture. The fourth infusion is much the same as above but now more watery.


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