Saturday, April 13, 2013

A look at Darjeeling no.1: Lipton tea

Darjeeling is an area in India on the foothills of the Himalayas. The teas from this region are quite famous and go under the same name.  Unofficially these are touted as the champagne of teas and accordingly carry high prestige.
Over the next few weeks I'll review some of the Darjeelings I've come across lately. This week we start on known territory.
Not long ago I got some packs of tea from someone who went to the very Darjeeling region and was surprised to find among these a couple of boxes Lipton branded  black tea loose leaf Darjeeling. It is surprising because the brand, rightly or not, is generally associated with teabags and so-so tea. Interested, I prepared some teapots over several weeks to taste what was it like.
On the box I find no indication as to its specific leaf grading other than it is long leaf, which makes me think that it may not rank among the best in quality in this department. Among the dried leaves I find some few stems.
The color and aroma were within the expected bounds. The taste has the distinct Darjeeling maltiness and the leaf is very tolerant to oversteeping without getting bitter. However, attempts to resteep it, yield weak brews with the maltiness all but gone. Overall good on the first steep, not extraordinary. However, the more I tried it, the more adept I became in handling it. Just recently I've been getting some pretty tasty smoothly rounded cups out of it.
On the stomach it feels a bit aggressive at times unlike the rest of the Darjeelings we'll talk about later. Maybe leaf quantity has something to do with this.
Can't say if this tea is a deal as I do not how much it costs. However, I find nothing fret about with it. It's fine to trust in big brands once in a while.


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