REVIEW: Teabox – 2014 Sungma Muscatel Organic (Summer) Darjeeling Black

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Tea and origin: Second flush Darjeeling black tea from the Sungma Tea Estate
Twitter: @TeaBoxInt
Facebook: Teabox
Link to Sungma Muscatel

This is my second review of a tea from Teabox. Two weeks ago I tried their Red Thunder Darjeeling Oolong and was very impressed, and today I’ll be tasting one of their second flush Darjeeling from their extensive selection of Darjeeling teas. Whilst I typically go for lighter, sweeter first flush Darjeelings, I know that their are some amazingly complex and tasty second flushes out there that make me question my love for first flushes.

Read on to see what I think of this Sungma Muscatel.

Tasting notes

Dry leaf: The dry leaf consists of full, twisted leaves that have a crisp, fruity aroma

Infused tea: The tea cups out a dark copper-coloured liquor that has a sweet, florally aroma. A sweet, apricot-like aroma is noticeable in the wet leaves. When infused with 95C water, the liquor has a sweet muscatel flavour that makes up the body of the tea, whilst florally notes are most in the finish and aftertaste. When infused with 85C to 90C water, a muscatel flavour is still present, but there is a honey-like sweetness to the liquor and aroma. Regardless of water infusion temperature, the liquor is medium-bodied and has a small hint of astringency in the finish

Infusion tips: To make this tea, I used three grams of tea with 85 to 95C water. I infused the tea three to four minutes. Try infusing the leaves two to three times

Conclusions: I really like how the sweet and florally notes in the liquor of this teas balance it out – that is, despite the name of the tea, the muscatel flavour is not overwhelming because the sweet and floral notes round it off. Infusing the tea with slightly cooler water and pulling out the honey-like sweetness really got my tea blood flowing. The complexity of the the aroma and flavour, as well as the smoothness of the liquor, reminded me of a roasted oolong, which is quickly becoming one of favourite teas. This is truly a second flush Darjeeling that makes me question my love for first flushes, and I would highly recommend it

Retail price: 10 grams for £2.57 / 100 grams for £13.58 / 300 grams for £40.75

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About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
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