Teuksun 2014 Green Tea from Hankook Tea and Honam Tea Estates

Today’s review will focus on the Teuksun Green Tea from Hankook Tea, sourced from the Honam Tea Estates. The Honam Tea Estates are located on the southern tip of South Korea’s mainland. To view this tea at the Hankook Tea website, please click here.

The leaves used to produce the Teuksun Green Tea are harvested around the first days of summer (Ibha), typically in the first week of May. This harvest consists of both first flush and second flush leaves, which is intended to create a unique blend of delicate and robust tastes. Hankook Tea describes the grade as sejak.

The Honam Tea Estates consist of three separate plantations, being the Haenam, Youngam, and Jangsung. The Jangsung Tea Plantation produces much of the powdered green teas, and is a certified organic plantation. The Youngam Tea Plantation is overall the most productive of the three plantations, and is a symbol of the beauty of South Korean tea gardens. The Haenam Tea Plantation is located near the southern coast, and has an ideal blend of climatic conditions conducive to growing high quality tea bushes. Search Google for the images of these plantations, and get ready to be dumbfounded by the beauty. If I were a rich man, I would be on a plane heading to South Korea right now. Alas, I am not, so I am stuck in bitter cold, but at least sunny (at the moment), western Pennsylvania.

My instincts have been drawing me to green teas lately, mostly of the Japanese and Korean type, so I was excited to find this one last green tea sample from Hankook Tea. I am hoping to get a taste of the 2015 harvests once they are ready.

The sample packet has been opened, and instantly I feel the amazingly sweet fragrance that I have come to expect from the Hankook green teas. Let the journey begin…

Teuksun Green Tea Dry Leaves
Teuksun Green Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a uniform fresh forest green color. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments. There are no bare stems or buds in the mix. The leaves are lightly machine rolled, and have a dry, slightly rigid texture. The pluck cannot be determined by the dry leaves. The smell has scents of brown sugar, sweet grass, hay, and a light touch of dry gardenia flowers.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Spring water was heated to 185°F (85°C). The leaves were infused for 3:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 175°F (80°C). Steep the leaves for 2:00 minutes. Expect three quality infusions out of the same serving of leaves.

Teuksun Green Tea Liquor
Teuksun Green Tea Liquor

The first infusion produced a liquor with a rich, greenish-yellow color. There is a slight haze, making the liquor translucent, but not perfectly transparent. The aroma has scents of fresh grass, brown sugar, steamed asparagus, butter, and gardenia. The body is medium, with a smooth, buttery texture, and a pleasant umami quality. There is a medium level of astringency. The taste has notes of fresh grass, butter, steamed asparagus, sweet corn, brown sugar, and gardenia. The aftertaste carries the grassy notes and a touch of brown sugar, evolving into a satisfying floral essence.

Teuksun Green Tea Infused Leaves
Teuksun Green Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform fresh forest green color. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments. There are no bare stems or buds in the mix. The pluck cannot be determined. The leaves have a very soft, smooth texture. The smell has scents of fresh grass, gardenia, and steamed asparagus.

The Teuksun Green Tea from Hankook Tea provided me with the exact green tea experience that I was looking for today. It was satisfying, invigorating, uplifting, and truly fulfilling. Although the dry and infused leaves give little to observe other than fantastic smells and fresh colors, the experience of the liquor is phenomenal from start to finish. The liquor color is beautiful, the aroma is fresh and rich, the texture is deeply satisfying, and the overall taste is exactly as advertised, complex and robust. The second infusion is still very tasteful and fulfilling, and I am confident that the third infusion will be easy to enjoy, however lighter in overall character. My Friday has been fairly calm and pleasant so far, and this Teuksun Green Tea has definitely lifted my mood to a level that I wish I could replicate more often.

Thank you to the management of Hankook Tea for providing this sample of Teuksun Green Tea. Happy weekend everyone! Cheers!

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Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea from What-Cha and Greenland Organic Farm

Today’s review will focus on the Nepal Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea from What-Cha. What-Cha sources this tea from the Greenland Organic Farm located in eastern Nepal. To view and purchase this tea at the What-Cha website, please click here.

Since I have covered What-Cha and Greenland Organic Farm on several occasions already, I have decided to use this space to remind my readers of the close-out sale going on at The Tea Journeyman Shop. I have cut prices on all teas to the point that they are basically at wholesale. The oolong teas have been moving quickly at these prices, but I do not want anyone to overlook the white teas and the Amba hand-rolled black tea either. The new prices on the Shining Antlers and Shire Highlands White Teas from Satemwa Tea Estate in Malawi, and the Amba Hand-Rolled Black Tea from Amba Estate in Sri Lanka make them worth stocking up on before my supply runs out. The black teas and green tea from Sri Lanka are also very cheap, with the Big Leaf Ceylon Green Tea being an unsung hero of the product lineup. I have had many repeat buyers of the Big Leaf Ceylon Green Tea.

Basically, all of the teas at The Tea Journeyman Shop are so inexpensive that this is a great opportunity to load up on high quality and interesting teas at near wholesale prices. The shipping fee is still a flat $5 to anywhere in the U.S., and I am willing to send to Canada also. Once the teas are sold out, you will have to pay much higher prices getting these teas elsewhere, if you can even find them anywhere else in the U.S. or Canada. Check them out today, and make me do some work for the next two months. The shop closes on April 15th, or once all products are sold out, whichever comes first.

Back to the review at hand. The sample packet has been opened, and the Cannon Ball description is quite accurate. Let the journey begin…

Nepal Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea Dry Leaves
Nepal Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a uniform dark green color. The leaves are tightly rolled and compressed into oblong balls, about the size of black beans. There are so crumbs in the mix. The balls appear to consist of medium to large leaf fragments, buds, and some thin stems. I would not be surprised to find some smaller whole leaves, but there does not appear to be an intact pluck. I assume at this point a two leaf and bud pluck. The “cannon balls” are very dense, with a coarse, round texture. The smell has scents of grass, hay, light caramel, and dried lemon.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 185°F (85°C). The leaves were infused for 3:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 175°F (80°C). Steep the leaves for 2:00 minutes. Expect three quality infusions out of the same serving of leaves.

Nepal Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea Liquor
Nepal Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea Liquor

The first infusion produced a liquor with greenish yellow color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of grass, lemon, forest floor, wet stones, and hay. The body is light and refreshing, with a clean, gentle texture. There is a medium level of astringency. The taste has notes of lemon, grass, hay, forest floor, wet stones, orange blossoms, and steamed leafy green vegetables. The aftertaste carries the wet stones, grass, and orange blossom notes, and the blossom essence lingers on the breath.

Nepal Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea Infused Leaves
Nepal Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a forest green color, with some of the leaves showing some light oxidation around the edges. The leaves are all medium to large sized fragments, with a few bud fragments, and a few bare stems in the mix. I did not find any whole leaves or intact plucks. The leaves have a very soft, delicate feel, most likely from the amount of pressure applied during processing to create the cannon ball shape. The smell has scents of grass, forest floor, wet stone, lemon, and light steamed leafy green vegetables.

The Nepal Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea has a unique look and is worthy of respect. With a light, refreshing, clean feel, and plenty of aroma and taste that are consistent through three infusions, this Nepalese green tea will satisfy most green tea drinkers. The lemon and orange blossom tastes, and especially the orange blossom aftertaste and essence, were the most noteworthy characteristics of this green tea.

Thanks again to the management of What-Cha for providing this sample of Nepal Second Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea. Cheers!

Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea from What-Cha

Today’s review will focus on the Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea, sourced by What-Cha from the Greenland Organic Farm in eastern Nepal. You may view and purchase this tea by visiting the What-Cha website.

I covered the Greenland Organic Farm in a previous post, Nepal First Flush 2014 Silver Oolong Tea. I would like to acknowledge What-Cha for the wide variety of teas from origins that you do not see being offered very often by other tea businesses. There are teas from Iran, Azerbaijan, Azores, Georgia, Russia, and in their Discover Europe Collection, a green tea from Turkey. A little more common, but not quite mainstream, are the teas from Malawi, Vietnam, South Korea, and Nepal. If you are getting a bit bored with the more mainstream Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Ceylon teas, then What-Cha is a good source for the taste of an unfamiliar tea terroir.

The sample packet has been opened, and a swift punch of malt and cracked toasted grains just hit me in the nose. Is this a black tea or a homebrewing beer kit? Let the journey begin…

Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea Dry Leaves
Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves consist mostly of golden buds, with the remaining leaves being charcoal black. The buds are covered in fine golden hairs. The pluck is a fine leaf and bud. There are a few bare stems in the mix. Many of the buds and leaves are unbroken, and there are some fragments ranging in size from small to large. The buds and leaves appear to be twisted. The leaves have a smooth texture, and crack easily into coarse crumbs. The average length of the unbroken buds is just under one inch (25 mm). The smell is incredible and strong, with scents of malt, toasted grains, sweet hay, dandelion, and a touch of raw honey.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 205°F (96°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 to 4:00 minutes. Expect two infusions out of the same serving of leaves, and expect the second infusion to be lighter than the first, but still worth drinking. Add 1:00 minute to the second infusion steep time. A very light, yet refreshing, third infusion can be prepared.

Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea Liquor
Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea Liquor

The first infusion produced a liquor with a rich, golden orange color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of malt, toasted grains, honey, dandelion, sweet hay, and nectar. The body is medium-full, with a smooth, raw honey-like tongue coating texture. There is little astringency. The taste has notes of malt, toasted grains, honey, nectar, dandelion, and hay. The aftertaste carries the malt, nectar, and dandelion notes, and a lightly floral, sweet essence is left on the breath.

Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea Infused Leaves
Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform yellowish-brown color. There is a generous portion of whole, unbroken buds and leaves, along with some small to large sized fragments. There are a few bare stems in the mix. The pluck is one fine leaf and a bud. The buds have swollen some, and measure about one inch (25 mm) in length. The buds and leaves have a soft, smooth texture. The smell has scents of malt, toasted grains, dandelion, hay, and nectar.

The Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea is a rich, sweet smelling and tasting black tea that is very satisfying. Far from being overwhelming, this black tea needs no additives whatsoever to be fully enjoyed, but I can imagine that a small splash of coconut or almond milk may turn this tea into quite a treat. The malt character can be recognized at all phases of the experience, and the notes of toasted grains is a perfect compliment. If you are like me and enjoy a malty lager with dinner, this tea may be your new drink of choice at breakfast.

Many thanks to the management at What-Cha for providing this sample of Nepal Second Flush 2014 Golden Tips Black Tea. Cheers!

TGFOP1 Second Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea from Panitola Tea Estate

Today’s review will focus on the TGFOP1 Second Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea from Panitola Tea Estate. This sample was provided by Lochan Tea.

The Panitola Tea Estate is located in the Tinsukia district, in the South Bank of the Assam region in northeast India. Panitola consists of about 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of land under tea cultivation. Panitola produces both CTC grades and orthodox grades of black tea. This tea estate developed a well known and popular clone, the P-126A, which is now used in many Assam tea estates where orthodox teas are produced. The N-436 clone is also grown on the estate. Panitola is constantly researching methods to increase the sustainability of the tea garden by using more organic methods of pest and insect control. However, it is not considered an organic garden quite yet. The Panitola Tea Estate has the HACCP, ETP (Ethical Tea Partnership), and ISO 22000:2005 certifications.

The sample packet has been opened, and a surprisingly floral scent is immediately detected. Let the journey begin…

Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Dry Leaves
Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a uniform charcoal gray to black color, with some golden tips and reddish-brown stems. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments, including bud fragments, and some bare stems. The leaves are machine rolled, and have a fairly uniform size and shape. The smell has scents of wild flowers, dark chocolate, ripe grapes, light hay, and light toasted seeds.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 205°F (96°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 to 4:00 minutes. Expect two infusions out of the same serving of leaves, and expect the second infusion to be lighter than the first, but still worth drinking. Add 1:00 minute to the second infusion steep time. A very light, yet refreshing, third infusion can be prepared.

Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Liquor
Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Liquor

The first infusion produced a liquor with a deep red color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of wild flowers, hibiscus, grape, raw cacao, light hay, and light wood. The body is full, with a rich, tongue coating texture. The taste has notes of ripe red grapes, wild flowers, hibiscus, wood, malt, and a touch of citrus. There is a strong, but not overwhelming, astringency, and a pleasantly brisk character. The aftertaste is sweet and somewhat floral, with a respectable lingering essence.

Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Infused Leaves
Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform copper-brown color. All leaves are small to medium sized fragments, with some bud fragments and bare stems in the mix. The leaves have a fairly uniform size and shape. The smell has scents of wood, wild flowers, grapes, toasted seeds, and forest floor.

The Panitola TGFOP1 Second Flush 2014 Black Tea was more floral in aroma and taste than I expected. This tea definitely had a tart, citrusy, and floral character, which I described as hibiscus. I did not feel the usual dominant malt qualities that other Assam teas have, and in this particular case, that is not a negative observation. This black tea had a very nice blend of body, texture, and taste, as it was rich but not overpowering. There is no need for milk, cream, or other additives, but this tea could certainly take such additives with positive outcomes.

Thank you to the Lochan family at Lochan Tea for providing this sample of Panitola TGFOP1 Second Flush 2014 Black Tea. Cheers!

Rohini Enigma 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea from Rohini Tea Estate and Lochan Tea Limited

Today’s review focuses on the Enigma 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea from the youngest tea estate in the Darjeeling area, the Rohini Tea Estate. This estate is located in the Kurseong South Valley of the Darjeeling area. This sample was provided by Lochan Tea Limited. To find more information on Lochan Tea Limited, please visit their official website here.

Consisting of a tea growing area of about 146 hectares (360 acres), and cultivating Chinese clonal varieties T-78 and AV-2 in the divisions that produce the higher quality teas, Rohini Tea Estate is gaining respect in the Darjeeling area for both their traditional Darjeeling style products and the various innovative types of tea that they are also producing. For more information on the Rohini Tea Estate, please find the official website here.

I know I have mentioned this in previous posts, but it is always interesting to note the cause of the wide range of colors on the dry leaves of Darjeeling teas. After the leaves are harvested, they are subjected to a very hard withering period, where the leaves lose more than 50% of their moisture content. This lack of moisture causes the oxidation process to slow down, and the rate of oxidation is inconsistent among the leaves. This regional difference in production is also partially responsible for the unique aromas and flavors that Darjeeling teas are renowned for.

The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet smell combining with fresh looking and colorful leaves have me excited to get this review started. Let the journey begin…

Rohini Enigma 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Dry Leaves
Rohini Enigma 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have the typical range of colors from bright green to reddish-brown to dark brown. There is a generous portion of buds covered in silver downy-like hairs. The leaves appear to be medium to large fragments, with the possibility of a few unbroken leaves. The leaves are rolled. The pluck appears to be two leaves and a small bud. I do not see many bare stems in the mix. The aroma is very sweet, with obvious scents of grapes, cocoa, and light flowers. This is a great smelling dry leaf.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My brewing suggestion to get the best taste at home is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six ounces (180 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 195°F (90°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 minutes. These leaves can be steeped two times, with a very light third time being possible.

Rohini Enigma 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Infusion
Rohini Enigma 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright orange-brown color, clear and transparent. The aroma is floral and sweet, with scents of valley flowers, grapes, and light sweet hay. The body is medium, with a gentle, smooth texture. The taste has notes of valley flowers and grapes, and a touch of fresh hay or grass. The aftertaste is floral, with a pleasant flowery essence being left on the breath, and a slight touch of spice developed after a few seconds.

Rohini Enigma 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Infused Leaves
Rohini Enigma 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves are mostly a reddish-brown color, with a few being light greenish-brown. The leaves are mostly medium to large fragments, but there are few unbroken leaves, with one measuring two inches (51 mm) long. The pluck is mostly two leaves and a small bud, and there are some more developed buds in the mix. After closer examination, there are more bare stems in the mix than I originally observed. The leaves have a soft, smooth texture. The aroma is very impressive, with a dominant grape scent, and hints of flowers and sweet hay.

To be honest, when I first tried the teas from Rohini Tea Estate in past years, I was not very impressed. However, I really enjoyed the Rohini Enigma 2nd Flush 2014, and that tells me that Rohini is improving their processes and developing their skills very noticeably from year to year. This tea had grape character from the aroma of the dry leaf that continued in the aroma and taste of the infusion and followed through all the way to dominate the aroma of the infused leaf. If grape character is what you look for in a 2nd flush Darjeeling tea, then the Rohini Enigma should impress you.

Thank you to the Lochan family and Lochan Tea Limited for providing this sample! Thank you to the management at Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates for continuing to improve your products! Your work and effort are paying off. Cheers!

Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL 2nd Flush Assam from Lochan Tea Limited

Time to get back to the samples from my favorite tea company in India, Lochan Tea Limited. As I searched my mood this morning, I decided that today would be a nice day for second flush Assam black tea. Thankfully, the Lochans sent several of these excellent teas in their last package of samples. This review will focus on a FTGFOP 1 CL Exclusive Tippy Second Flush Assam black tea from Dinjoye Tea Estate in the Assam District of India. There is a very fruity sweet smell and plenty of golden tips in this sample packet, so let the journey begin.

Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam Dry Leaves
Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a brown to black color with a nice amount of golden tips being present. The leaves have a fairly uniform size and shape, and are twisted in the usual Assam orthodox form. All leaves are fragments, as is the norm in teas from India. The aroma is very fruity, with strong scents of dried fruit and muscatel grapes. There is also a lightly floral scent in the background.

Five grams of dry leaves were placed in an 8.5 ounce (240 ml) kyusu teapot. Purified water was heated to 205°F (98°C). Leaves were infused for one minute on the first infusion, one minute thirty seconds on the second infusion and third infusion.

Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam 1st Infusion
Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a glowing, full, and deep red color with a perfect orange rim. The liquor was clear and perfectly transparent. The aroma had malty, muscatel grape, and very light floral scents. A very light spice was also noted. The body is full, with a mouth filling and moderate-heavy astringent feel. The taste was mainly malty, with notes of muscatel grape and spice. The aftertaste was sweet (malt).

Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam 2nd Infusion
Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a orange-red color, the orange ring lightening to gold. The aroma remained malty, muscatel grape, and slightly spicy. The body lightened slightly, but was still full. The astringency balanced nicely in this second infusion. The taste remained the same, though slightly lighter, with malt being the main note, and a light floral hint being noticeable.

Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam 3rd Infusion
Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam 3rd Infusion

The third infusion produced a much lighter orange colored liquor with a slight reddish tint. The aroma lightened, but remained sweet. The body lightened to medium, with a slight astringency still being felt. The taste lightened significantly, allowing the floral notes to become more evident. Although much lighter in all ways, this third infusion was certainly worthy of drinking.

Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam Infused Leaves
Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam Infused Leaves

The infused leaves had a uniform copper color. The size and shape were also fairly uniform and standard for an Assam tea. I do not believe a fourth infusion would produce a full enough taste to enjoy. The aroma is sweet, like muscatel grapes, and a sweet floral scent.

This Dinjoye FTGFOP 1 CL Assam black tea was exactly what I was looking for this morning. The full bodied, astringent yet sweet taste will certainly open your eyes and give you a kick of energy. Teas from both the Assam District and Darjeeling District have such an incredibly sweet and floral smell to the dry leaf, and this was no different. There is little wonder in my mind why Assam black teas are very popular for being in breakfast blend teas. These teas are an excellent replacement for coffee.Thanks, Lochan Teas, for providing the sample. I am looking forward to the 2014 harvests! Cheers!

 

Margaret’s Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush 2013 from Lochan Tea Limited

On the morning of October 15th, my journey through the world of tea tasting took me to Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate, located in the Darjeeling area of India. This sample was provided by the Lochan Tea Limited company.

As I learned from the Lochan Tea website, this world famous tea estate was not always known as Margaret’s Hope. The original estate name was Bara Ringtong. The estate kept this name from the year of it’s founding in 1830 until 1927. The owner of the Bara Ringtong Tea Estate in 1927 was Mr. Cruikshank, who’s daughter, Margaret, loved the beautiful landscapes of the Bara Ringtong Tea Estate. After beginning a journey from India to her home in England, Margaret died suddenly, never being able to return to the estate that she adored. In Margaret’s memory, Mr. Cruikshank changed the name of the estate to Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate. Now, this estate is known as one of the premier Darjeeling tea estates.

The sample pack has been opened, and along with the sweet smell I see some larger fully intact leaves, and an abundance of color. Let the journey begin…

Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush Dry Leaves
Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush Dry Leaves

The dry leaves of this Margaret’s Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush 2013 have a wide range of color from bright lively green to dark brown, and a generous amount of silver tips. The leaves are gently rolled and curled. There appears to be some fully intact, larger leaves, but the majority are leaf fragments, and some nice buds. A few bare stalks are present. The aroma is fruity and sweet.

The standard preparation method was used for this sample. As directed by Lochan Tea, purified spring water was heated to a boil. Nine grams of dry tea leaves were placed in a 21 ounce (600 ml) cast iron Tetsubin. The tea leaves were infused for 3 minutes.

Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush 1st Infusion
Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright orange-red color, clear and transparent. The aroma is delicate, yet sweet (honey) and floral. The body is medium-full, with a mouthfilling texture and taste. The taste is floral (jasmine), with an aftertaste that is floral with touches of vegetal notes. I don’t know if I have ever had a tea with such a pure floral taste as this. I am interested to see how this tea can maintain this flavor, or mature into other flavors.

Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush 2nd Infusion
Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a slightly lighter shade of bright orange-red color. The aroma remains delicately sweet and floral. The taste and body lightened some, but maintains a mouthfilling taste of jasmine flowers with a lightly vegetal finish. I expect the third infusion to be quite light, but still provide an acceptable flavor.

Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush 3rd Infusion
Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush 3rd Infusion

The third infusion produced a liquor with a lighter shade of orange, much lighter color than the first and second infusions. The aroma is lighter, but still sweet and slightly floral. The body and taste have lightened significantly. The taste is very lightly floral, with a very light vegetal aftertaste. The taste is borderline acceptable, but getting an acceptable taste out of a fourth infusion is doubtful.

Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush Infused Leaves
Margarets Hope Golden Delight 2nd Flush Infused Leaves

The infused leaves of this tea are mostly uniform copper-brown, with an occasional green or red leaf mixed in. The majority of the leaves are fragments, with an occasional fully intact leaf and occasional bud being found. The aroma is lightly sweet and lightly floral. The leaves appear nearly exhausted of flavor.

As I mentioned earlier, this tea was very unique in the purity of the floral flavor. Aside from the lightly vegetal finish, all I could taste was a mouthful of delicate jasmine flowers. It is easy to understand why this tea is sought after by tea aficionados the world over. The first infusion was incredible in the aroma and flavor, with both trailing off with additional infusions. This tea would be an excellent choice for those who prefer a tea with more body and a gentle flavor. It has the body of a black tea, with the flavor that only a Darjeeling tea can provide. This tea has been etched in my memory as the tea that tastes like pure natural jasmine. There is no need whatsoever for any blending or additives to make this tea a pleasure to experience.