Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Twinings, Darjeeling

I have been drinking Twinings tea for years. I am not sure how I have missed trying this one until now. Then again, I have only drank two other Darjeeling teas. The first was by Ahmad. It is a terrific inexpensive tea. The second I have on most Saturdays at our local Steak N Shake. The Mother Parkers tea bags they use make a delicious cup that takes cream and sugar very well. I am looking forward to trying Twinings take on this tea. I am using the loose leaf version.

I open the tin and sniff. The dry leaf smells of straw. That is a different smell than hay. Straw smells less sweet and less green. I used a generous ½ scoop (my scoop is the 7g scoop that comes with the Bodum press), boiling water, and a 3 minute steep. The brew is a neat orange root beer color. This is very finely cut CTC but bigger than dust, so it didn’t make too much of a mess in the French press. Any finer and it would require a Finum filter basket for easier clean up. CTC or Cut Torn Curled is typical of many typical black teas. Dust is typical of tea bagged tea.

The sip yields a light bodied cup with mild fruity notes. It has a bit of the flavor of the grape leaves our local Chinese restaurant uses in some of their dishes. As the cup cools I am noticing a malt scent as I sip. This is a very drying tea. It is not bitter, just very astringent. If you are sensitive to black teas, it is not a good idea to sip this on an empty stomach.

I have to say I prefer Ahmad and Mother Parkers over this offering from Twinings. It’s not horrible. I just think you can do better. The flavor is thinner than I like. Although it does improve considerably as the cup cools. It is too astringent, at least for me, and having it instead of breakfast left me with a burning sensation. Nice fruity aftertaste though.

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