The flavor of this delicious Darjeeling is quite simply exquisite. It has a fresh, clean, full flavor. If you are a fan of Darjeeling teas that offer great flavor, are crisply vegetal in the mouth and offer elegant, pure flavor, then try this tea. You will notice right away that the dry leaf has a very pungent aroma, and that while the tea steeps this aroma lingers. The leaf is quite even in manufacture, has little green or tip, and is a perfect medium-cut size, which makes it an easy steeper for the novice or the pro. There is very little of the ‘German green’ in the leaf, but this Poobong Lot #2 is also not as darkly oxidized as the other two Poobong Darjeelings this season. The slender leaf has a well-formed, slight twist to it.
This garden uses principally China bush plantings for the leaf for this tea. We here at Tea Trekker had a very difficult time trying to decide between many samples of this spring’s Poobong 1st Flush selections for what would normally be our single 2018 Poobong Tea Estate 1st Flush Darjeeling tea. So I decided that the best course would be to offer several ‘lots’ of the teas (as they are referred to in South Asia) and allow for both variety and a unique vertical tasting. It is fascinating to taste three teas all from the ‘same’ garden and harvest, that have such different personalities.
This tea, Lot #2, has a flavor that is pure and focused, quite superior and very accessible. There are mostly notes of fresh herb: celery and parsley, tempered with river stone and all polished to a very clean, pure whole. The aroma is pure and light. Overall, this tea is for those who like a light and crisp, refreshing beverage. The liquor will not darken beyond a pale straw color, no matter how long you steep the leaf.
Poobong Tea Estate 2018 1st Flush tea is not finicky – we have steeped it for varying amounts of time with no unpleasant ‘bolting’ or off taste. While we tend to steep our Darjeelings for about three minutes, this tea will show well, we think, when steeped ‘Chinese style for 2 mins or less, or if you steep it longer, even 4 to 41/2 minutes. Because it is 100% China bush leaf, we like to use water that is just slightly cooler than the normal temperature for black tea. And be sure to try a second steeping – but only if you steep it short the first time. Try using half the water of the initial steeping and you will enjoy a bit more liquid tea from the leaf.
Poobong Tea Estate is a small garden in the prime growing area of Darjeeling. Located at the very high altitude of 2500 to 4500ft, on one of the highest peaks in Darjeeling, the China bush plants in this garden thrive the way they do at the higher elevations of Anhui Province or upper Yunnan in China, or in the high mountain areas of Taiwan. The landscape around Poobong produces abundant clouds & mist moisture, quite similar to the weather patterns in the mountains in China.
We are happy to be working with Poobong Tea Estate again this year. This tea came in at the same reasonable price as its two Estate-mates– a wonderful trifecta…