For more than a century, Darjeeling (tea) has been grown in the Himalayan region of Northern India, and has been rightfully crowned the “champagne of teas”. And for almost just as long, green tea lovers only had China and Japan to get their fix from. That is, until India managed to navigate its way into the green tea market. This week’s post features Green Darjeeling from Kusmi Tea. Darjeeling, without a doubt ranks pretty high up on my top ten favourite teas list, so now it’s time to taste test its unique, unfermented counterpart.
Kusmi’s product packaging is a big part of why I have bought so many of their teas to bring home and add to my collection. Their Green Darjeeling comes sealed in a sizable round tin with a bright seafoam green-esque colour covering its bottom half. My first impression of the dry leaves inside is that they are reminiscent of a first flush darjeeling. The loose leaf appearance is a choppy mixture of rolled leaves that are of varying sizes and colours, rich in small green fragments and silvery buds. The ingredients list consists of just one thing: Indian green tea. I find that the aroma of the leaves prior to steep is fresh smelling and herbaceous with a hint of nuttiness.
Kusmi Tea recommends steeping their Green Darjeeling for 3-4 minutes in water heated to 80°C (175°F). I heated my kettle to 175°F and brewed this tea for three minutes.
The resulting liquor left in my cup is rich in colour; such a gorgeous amber hue. The nose is familiar… more aromatic once brewed, with characteristics similar to a Chinese green. Upon sipping, Green Darjeeling has an overall flavour that is quite subtle, yet delicate. There is a “best of both worlds” quality present. Meaning you get both the light, slightly floral and vegetal notes of green tea, with a lingering hint of nutty, Muscat grape found in standard Darjeeling. There is thankfully little to no astringency, and a nice smoothness with each sip.
Green Darjeeling from Kusmi is an excellent everyday tea, regardless of what time of day you choose to sit down and enjoy it (unless you’re caffeine sensitive, that is). Overall, it presents itself as a lighter version of the classic Darjeeling, so if you’re someone who prefers bolder flavours in tea, this may not be your so-called cup of tea. I, on the other hand, don’t foresee myself getting tired of Green Darjeeling any time soon.
When it comes to Darjeeling, which flush is your go-to? (Mine is 1st flush!) Sound off below in the comments!
Stay tuned for next week when I review a tea that really knows how to turn up the heat!
Until we steep again…