Darjeeling Rhapsody 22 Adagio Teas
Originally uploaded by Chorus of Chaos.
Today's tea was a sample I've had about a year but has been kept nice a fresh in it's tin and in a ziplock bag. It's from Adagio Teas, thier Darjeeling Rhapsody 22.
It was brewed right at boiling point for five minutes.
Dry, the leaves are small and mostly black with a few pale gold and brown blended in. Scent is a rich black tea fragrance with a delicate floral note. Wet the leaves are a deep olive green (as in picture above) with a few paler brown mixed in. They appear to be of the crush tear curl method type leaves, I generally prefer whole leaf teas, but since there is no dust or fannings that I can see I decided to go ahead and give it a try.
Ahhhh....memories. I first began drinking tea as a small child with my grandmother, who was Irish. Sunday afternoon tea with grandma was looked forward to all week. My grandmother had a cousin in Ireland who sent her loose leaf tea in packets, a breakfast blend of some type, and darjeeling. The breakfast blend was every day, several times a day, but Darjeeling was for Sunday tea.
One of my greatest thrills was that magical Sunday after my eight birthday when my grandmother let me make tea for the first time all by myself. I knew all the steps, putting the water on to boil and measuring out the tea, warming the tea pot and her delicate tiny cups and then timing the tea as it steeped. We had scottish shortbread biscuits (cookies,..oh the crap I went through in school for calling cookies biscuits and spelling words like colour with a U) It was also the first time I had tea without milk. I had been drinking tea since I was about 4 years old and could hold the childs mug grandma had, but it had started out mostly milk with a little tea, and getting progressively stronger on tea up until the day I got to make it myself. Yes, I still have the brown betty and the tea cups packed away quite safely, and someday when my life is more stable they will have a place of honor in my grandmother's china cabinet.
Pardon the drift off down memory lane...Despite it's age and being a CTC tea, this darjeeling is lovely. It's exemplifies what I have always loved about darjeelings. A rich full bodied mouth feel, a lovely reddish brown liquor, very mild astringency, and a sweet floral note. This one reminds me of peony for some reason.
Now what grandma would make of my tetsubin (though I think she would have liked it, she was quite practical) and drinking it from the Japanese style cup I picked up in an asian store years ago for a buck I don't know,
I know on that day we buttered our shortbread biscuits and put our feet up and talked about school and and the weather, and left a sip in the cup in remembrance of my grandfather who passed on the year before. Today, I enjoyed cheesecake spread on my shortbread, and left a sip in the cup in remembrance of them both, along with Tal.
This tea has a good chance of becoming the regular darjeeling in my cupboard, it brought back good memories so strongly. Darjeeling is sometimes a touchy tea when you brew it...temperature or time off just a wee bit and it's gets astringent and bitter, this one seems very forgiving, and will be perfect for Sunday tea or for when special guests come to visit.