Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Finally a Darjeeling I like

Have said it here before, but I’m not much of a Darjeeling drinker. I like stronger teas and the Darjeelings I’ve had tend to be very refined and difficult for me to appreciate. That is until now. There’s a high-end Darjeeling that I tried today called Singbulli that I can certainly recommend. I just did a bit of research on it and now I know why I like it.

After its name on the package comes the acronym FTGFOP1. So I first had to find out what that meant. Finest, Tippy, Golden, Flowery, Orange Pekoe. Apparently this is the crème de la crème of Darjeelings. Or at least one of them. The tips of the leaves are flowery and really smell heavenly. I tried it next to a middle of the road Darjeeling blend called ‘Himalaya’ and the contrast was shocking. The blend was lighter in shade and was rather nondescript. The Singbulli tasted of flowers and was surprisingly strong.

The tea I tasted was a second flush which is picked in May/June and is said to be fuller in flavor. Haven’t tried the other flushes, but I can attest to the fact that this is a deep, fragrant taste. When it comes to other black teas like Ceylons, the higher the altitude, the better the tea. Have read in from a few sources that Darjeelings are grown in valleys and needn’t come from the highest of altitudes. This Darjeeling Singbulli is grown in the Mirik valley at a height of about 3,600 feet. Go procure some. You’ll be glad you did.

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