Tea Trekker is very excited to have this Autumnal Pluck offering from Oaks Tea Estate for the very first time.
Our Oaks Tea Estate Autumnal Pluck Darjeeling is an extremely well-made, classically-styled, late-season Darjeeling. It has none of the typical tangy sharpness in the front of the palate that marks most 1st Flush (and many 2nd Flush) Darjeeling Estate teas. If you love the flavor of a classic Darjeeling tea and prefer that it is balanced with a full body in the cup, then this Darjeeling will be your cup of tea.
Full-bodied and smooth, this tea has a very classic, old-fashioned Darjeeling style that is difficult to find today. Visually, the dry leaf has a wonderful dark color and is of a medium size. It is a great example of a ‘fine pluck’. There is also a small amount of ‘tip’ that insures the desired balance of smoothness to complex aromatic in the steeped cup.
Most Darjeeling enthusiasts cite the honeysuckle overtones that are prevalent in most years’ Oaks Tea Estate Darjeeling tea vintages. The most recent 2nd Flush that we sourced (in 2016) was an exception, and did not have this honeysuckle (aka night jasmine) scent in its aromatic. Instead, there was an intriguing scent of root vegetables and a slight woodiness to the aroma. We think that our current sourcing, this Autumnal Pluck, has a bit of both of these classic Oak’s flavor components. The flavor is clean, smooth and sweet with no astringency whatsoever, and it has no bold pungency. The flavor does not linger but fades pleasantly, ready for another sip. The depth of flavor is remarkable, as it is with premium Autumnal harvests. We are quite happy to have this 100% China bush Darjeeling in our selection.
Oaks Tea Estate is located in the Kurseong North section of the Darjeeling Hills tea district. It is near the town of Sonada, which lies about halfway between Darjeeling town and Kurseong. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (also known as the Toy Train) passes through this area and there is a train station in Sonada.
Together with several other of the small, lesser-known gardens in this small section of Darjeeling, Oaks Tea Estate maintains superb gardens that are of high repute, although only devotees and connoisseurs of Darjeeling tea tend to be knowledgeable of this garden. In fact, this is the only the second time that we have had the pleasure of offering a Darjeeling from Oaks Estate to our customers!