Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Sourenee FTGFOP 1 CH Muscatel Second Flush Darjeeling

With the long summer and early start to Winter here in Victoria, Autumn has seem to come and gone way too fast. Now most leaves are in piles on the ground and the temperature is typical wet and cold- Winter's familiar feel. Today, in an attempt to warm up, a sample of second flush Darjeeling tea is nothing but comforting. This sample from Sourenee Estate was gifted by the Lochan's of Lochan Tea. The 2011 harvest of this tea is also available from Tea Trekker, where their page for this tea offers brief but valuable info on Sourenee's recent organic certification, its history, and its name.

The redish coloured dry leaves are sweet and smell of candy, lilac, and is overly light, airy, and sweet with very faint suggestions of woody-licorice-grape.

The first infusion is prepared and a sweet, candied, soft grape like taste is left in the mouth from this reddish broth. This taste turns slightly into a forest wood and yam taste before turning slightly licorice and sweet with just an edge of grape. The mouthfeel is full and turns the tongue and lips somewhat rubbery. Minutes later a licorice grape taste is left in the throat. There is a unnoticeable menthol taste and feel which is slightly cooling in the mouth especially in the aftertaste. The qi is more leaning to a warm-neutral and is not harsh on the stomach. It brings about a strict but not edgy alertness.

The second starts off with that same candy-like, but now almost more rubbery, and distinctly soapy-floral sweetness which carries a muscatel edge. There is a quick muted suggestion of coco that is quickly and powerfully suppressed by the predominant soapy-grape taste which is reminiscent of Thrills gum, a Canadian classic. There are some woody tones that pop up later with licorice then fade into a rubbery, slightly soapy-grape taste. The mouthfeel is still full but not so stimulating for the tongue and lips.

The third gives off a soft, smooth simple monotone soapy-floral-grape taste that spans the simple profile. It becomes just slightly woody for a few seconds then slightly sour in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel weakens a bit but is still slightly rubbery on the lips and tongue. The fourth infusion is even softer now with bland notes encroaching now.



The Teaist said...

Nice to see you 'Gong Fu' a Darjeeling - makes for an interesting approach. I also have both a First and Second Flush... how do you personally think the two compare?

Lovely photos as always!

Matt said...

The Teaist,

Readers can't resist a comment when they see Darjeeling done gong fu! hahaha... It does impact the tea when prepared in this way though. One has been drinking lots of Giddapahar Estate second flush, when stepped in a mug it tastes of very deep floral notes- notes that were not as obvious in the gong fu sessions with this same tea:

Have not tried a first flush from Sourenee this year so can't say. In 2012 one had only sampled a first flush from Castleton Estate:

How did the the First Flush from Sourenee compare to the Second Flush?


Jj said...

Don't think I've ever "gongfu-ed" a darjeeling, Matt. What were your approximate parameters?

Might have to put this one on my radar.

Matt said...


Gong Fu preparation of Darjeeling tea was observed in Korea. It yields a different taste profile (not always or necessary "better") than simple mug preparation.

As far as the parameters go, different estates and flushes vary widely in what is optimal for gong fu. As a general rule fill the bottom of the tea pot with dry leaf, enough that it fills about 1/2 the pot when fully expanded. Use water that is not quite at boil and infusions last anywhere from 20 seconds to 40 seconds to start then increasing anywhere between 5-30 seconds.

Really it depends on the estate and the flush. Have fun with it!


Daniel@ Let's Drink Tea said...

I was going to comment on the gong fu preparation, but I see I'm a little late. I like the composition of the pictures too. The leaves are a nice touch and I noticed you add little things like that to other posts too. That's a great idea.

Gabe Fife said...

Greetings Matt,

Last week I sent a few samples of some balhyocha (also possibly some green tea...can't quite remember) by way of Soa Dawon.

I've come to liking this tea as its cheap and is a pleasant drink for my tastes.

Please feel free to speak of your experience with it (good or bad). We all may have different tastes but for my pocket and time serves to be enjoyable.

Should arrive sometime next week i'd say.


Gabe Fife said...

FYI: a new tea set i have purchased here:

Matt said...


The little touches are not just for the blog but even when just having friends over for tea, the flowers, leaves, and small seasonal touches are what really makes the tea experience special. Glad you enjoy them too.

Gabe Fife,

Received your tea yesterday. Can't wait to give them a try!

Will have to check your blog for a post on your new teaware.

Thanks muchly!


Steph said...

Beautiful! I had a wonderful opportunity to share dinner with the Lochan's recently. (You can see a pic of the spread on my blog.)

I also recently did a gong fu brew of a Darjeeling in a Wu-Wo tea ceremony. It was interesting. I think I had too much leaf.

Best, Stephanie

吉道 Giuseppe said...

You've been awfully quiet. Hope everything is okay!

Matt said...


Sounds like a beautiful experience. Yep watch the bitterness if you use too much leaf... hahaha


Things are well, thanks for caring though.