Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Golden Tips, Giddapahar Muscatel

Golden Tips Description:
An excellent second flush Darjeeling with an abundance of natural muscatel. A handpicked tea from the Giddhpahar tea estate in Darjeeling with gentle fruity notes, a rich aroma and a complete rounded flavor which is a defining characteristic of premium summer Darjeeling teas.  A must-have for anytime of the day.

Sample provided by Golden Tips

My Review:
My second tea to be reviewed from Golden Tips. The first was a Silver Needle Darjeeling and it was awesome. This one is a Darjeeling black tea. I have tried a few but must admit to not being well versed in them. Hopefully, after going through these samples I will have a better handle on what to expect. Or maybe I won't, and that is cool also, as it means the flavor field from Darjeeling is wide open.

This 2nd flush tea comes from the Giddapahar estate in Darjeeling, India.

The first thing that caught my eye on the label was the grade. This is SFTGFOP1 MUSK. Breaking it down all these letters mean a muscatel tea made of the very finest gade (The F means finest, the S and 1 raise this to very finest) of Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe. Thank you Wikipedia for the explanation.

Opening the resealable sample pouch, there is a scent of muscat. What does muscat smell like? Ask 100 people and you'll get 100 definitions, but once you smell it, you'll know it. To me it is fruity, woodsy, and fall dried leaf in scent. It does not really make me think grape or wine as the Muscat grape is often used.

Removing a scoop of leaf for examination, I notice this is mostly thin twists of dark leaf. There is some evidence of silver tips (the TGF mentioned in the grade). The heavy oxidation may make seeing more tips difficult or maybe this is what TGF looks like. If you have a good grasp on the subject, I love for you to share it.

1/3 of the 10g sample was used to brew 12 ounces of tea in my ceramic pot. The filtered water was heated to 200F (approx 95C). The steep was between 3 and 4 minutes. I was distracted by a bunch of texts at the time that I could not ignore.

So the leaf really expanded.  Some full whole leaves are easily seen. You can click on the pictures to expand them. They are dark olive green to cinnamon brown in color.

The brew is a bronze/caramel color. It is clear and almost sparkling. The aroma is similar to the dry scent with the addition of a bready note.

The taste is similar to the scent and kind of brisk with a swelling bite mid sip. Under the bite this is quite mellow and fruity. It is a bit of a contradiction but it works.

I get no bitterness from the mug as prepared. I do notice a standard amount of drying. The fruit, and a baked bread note, swirl around each other. It leans towards naturally sweet. The aftertaste hangs on. It is fruity, woodsy, and almost malty.

This is such a different experience than I get from other black teas. The closest would be Nepalese tea.

I drank this on an empty stomach on purpose - for science! This tea caused me no discomfort as many black teas tend to arouse. I am not sure when most people drink a cup of Darjeeling but I can see this as a mid-morning or early afternoon pick me up.

You can find Giddapahar Muscatel 2nd flush here.


No comments:

Post a Comment