Here's a photo of the very beautiful red and even yellow tips of very dark green leaves of Castleton Autumnal Darjeeling.
Because Sir William spoke so highly of autumnal Darjeelings, I was excited to try this as soon as I pulled it out of the package from India. I thought there were only 1st and 2nd flushes for Darjeeling, but am happy to find out about the tea that's plucked after the rainy season. The tea we're dealing with here come from the Castleton Estate. There's a structure, which is still standing on the Castleton Estate., that looks like a castle. Hence the name.
So, I brewed the tea and for once I took a photo of the leaves afterwards. The tea has a very floral smell that didn't lessen on the second infusion. Actually, the tea held up well on the second infusion. It was a bit lighter, but not much. Here's a description of tea from this estate at the Darjeeling Tea Express website:
The teas have (a) rose like fragrance, golden like sun-spun amber and are most prized for their unique "mucatel" comparable to sweet summer wines with intense fragrant top notes of musk.
The cup colour is coppery, and although the taste is a tad bitter, it's very fresh. There's definitely a muscatel flavour, as well as a hint of citrus. It's certainly lighter than a 2nd flush, but seems a bit stronger than a 1st flush. I doubt I'd start my day with this tea, but it seems perfect for a cold, rainy afternoon like we had today. Even after I'd had two infusions of this tea, I brewed another half pot of it after a long walk in the afternoon. Ultimately, the fact that I went back to it after having already had two pots is a hearty recommendation indeed.