Friday, August 8, 2014

The Persimmon Tree, Biodynamic Darjeeling

Biodynamic Darjeeling
The Persimmon Tree Description:
Famously known as a “champagne of teas”, this exquisite black Darjeeling tea has been hand picked and artisan processed from the steep slopes of India's Darjeeling Hills. It is a rare treat to experience this pure Darjeeling tea outside of India. Combined with a bold apple and fresh floral taste, one cup of Biodynamic Darjeeling tea will awaken your senses.

Sample provided by The Persimmon Tree

My Review:
For today's review I have selected a classic black tea. At the same time, Darjeeling is not as familiar to a lot of tea drinkers as English Breakfast or even Irish Breakfast. So sit back and we'll see if we can figure out what makes this tea the  “champagne of teas”.

Opening the tin I am met with an aroma that at first simply says tea. Warm comforting tea. Giving myself a moment to breathe it in, and it begins to remind me of tobacco. Not harsh cigarette or ashes, but the sweet fruity air of a fine pipe tobacco leaf.

The Dry Leaf
Next removing the leaf for examination, noticeable color variations abound. It ranges from olive, through tan, cinnamon, and dark brown.

For today's tasting I used my Bodum glass press and water heated to 185 F per the recommendation found on the product web page. The leaf amount I used is about 2 tsp for a 10 ounce mug of water. I steeped for 3 minutes.

The result is a hearty brew of bright reddish orange. As the mug cools it does become darker. The cup aroma is fruity.

A Hearty Mug
The taste is bold straight black tea. It has a nice amount of side tongue tingle. I detect no bitterness. Despite the tongue tingle it does not seem particularly drying. There is a nice light maltiness in the fruity aftertaste.

The Persimmon Tree description says this has a bold apple taste. Once the idea is in my head, I can see that, but it probably would not have entered my head on my own.

To me it is more woodsy. Like fresh summer leaves. I do pick up the fruity notes. I associate this with grape leaves. Now partly, this is because many websites describe the main characteristic of Darjeeling tea as having a Muscat grape aroma and taste. So yes, I admit, it is slightly programmed into me to sense it.

Honestly though, you don't have to examine the taste long to pick up on the Muscat flavor - especially if you examined the wet leaf before sampling the tea.

The leaf expands nicely and reveals various sized pieces and some whole leaves. The color is muddy brown like leaf lifted out from a fresh running creek bed.

Wet Leaf
It may seem odd to some of you to rummage through your wet leaf, but I find it to be part of the whole ceremony or even celebration of a cup of tea. Further, I love to watch the leaf steep. That is why I generally use clear glass brewing instruments. It deepens my appreciation of the liquid in my cup.

Back to the leaf, here the wet leaf seems strongly scented and almost coffee like when it is very hot. As it begins to cool the grape like notes of fruit and also a woodsy floral combination present themselves.

After writing the review, I added sweetener just to see how it would react. It takes it well if you have a super sweet tooth, but honestly it doesn't need it, as nothing new comes out in the taste. I would assume likewise if you are a milk person, this would take to it kindly.

I found this to be a solid Darjeeling offering. You can find Biodynamic Darjeeling here.

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