As a member of the German Teekampagne, Tea Campaign Canada has adopted a four-step model to bring Darjeeling from tea gardens to tea drinkers:
We are focused on a single type of tea
We buy in bulk, directly from tea gardens
We sell most of our tea after the arrival of a new harvest
We sell in large packages
I sampled four Tea Campaign Darjeelings this month: 'Selected Darjeeling' Harvest Blend 2014, First Flush 2014 Blend, First Flush 2014 'Pussimbing', and Second Flush 2014 Blend, all FTGFOP-1. Aren't the leaves of the Harvest Blend 2014, pictured above, pretty?
I had a challenging time steeping the Harvest Blend 2014 using the recommended 2g of tea leaves to 250mL of water to my satisfaction. What finally worked for me was 1 teaspoon for me, 1 teaspoon for a guest, and 1 teaspoon for the pot in about 325mL of water. This preparation yielded a robust cup of Darjeeling.
To prepare the First Flush 2014 Blend I used 2 teaspoons of leaves to 250 mL of water and steeped for 3 minutes. (Initially I used a tasting cup but the proportions were not successful.) The leaves when first wet had the aroma of a shincha. Yes! The liquor was very dry with a nutty (almond) finish. It was also green, like if one were to chew on a plant stem.
The dominant note of the First Flush 2014 'Pussimbing' was herbal. I also tasted notes of tropical fruit without the sweetness. This tea was slightly dry with a long finish.
With the Second Flush 2014 Blend I expected bolder flavors (though not as bold as a fall flush). However, this Darjeeling was my least favorite. I only detected a light maple syrup flavor.
The first flushes were my favorite of the four Darjeelings. Are you a Darjeeling drinker? How do you prepare a cup of Darjeeling?
Find the Tea Campaign Canada shop here.
Tea courtesy of Tea Campaign Canada. Thank you.