Smooth, smooth, smooth…
This is a delicious Darjeeling from Selim Hill Estate and it is an easy-drinker. We have become quite fond of the teas from this garden and recommend the garden as a producer of classic Darjeeling teas. Teas from Selim Hill are for the tea enthusiast who appreciates the style and vitality of a 1st Flush Darjeeling but prefers simplicity, lack of astringency and the absence of finicky-ness when steeping.
We consider it an ‘old-fashioned’ Darjeeling, that is, one that does not have the ‘biting’ green taste that so many 1st Flush Darjeeling teas have today. What does it have instead? It has complexity and depth of flavor. The flavor is filled with nuance – it has a lush softness and a buttery body that speaks to Darjeeling enthusiasts. There is also a a ittle ripe melon and pear in the taste.
The leaf is a tweedy mix of diverse earth colors on a base field of forest green . This shows how the leaf and the tips have each responded differently to the full and complete oxidation during manufacture.
This particular lot is an exceptionally beautiful tea with long, hand-rolled leaves. The bright cup and intense aroma is possibly a ‘perfect’ 1st Flush Darjeeling. We think that this is one of the best examples of a well-rolled tea that we have received in many years.
When first examining the dry leaf, this tea has a gentle woodsiness and mossy element, which is most intriguing and desirable. We were impressed by the intense aromatic quality of both the dry leaf and the tea liquor. When the leaf is wet during steeping that woodsiness vanishes and is replaced with a soft aroma and confident Darjeeling presence. When we returned to re-steep the leaf or to just observe the leaf after a bit of time had passed since the tea was steeped, the leaf had a quite pleasant background aroma. This is an indicator of a clean, deep style. The leaf is extremely long and evenly cut, has little of the modern ‘green’ that previews sharpness, and shows itself long and open when steeped. The liquor steeps to a clear medium amber. We could drink this tea all day!
Selim Hill teas are organic and the gardens feature extensive plantings of old China bush tea varietals, which we always look for. These tea bushes, combined with the terroir of Darjeeling, gives a clarity of flavor and a pure, Darjeeling taste.
Selim Hill’s organic tea gardens are located in the Kurseong area of the Darjeeling district. They lie to the east of the Rohini Tea Garden and just south of the Giddapahar Tea Estate, two of our other favorite Darjeelings. The location of the estate is considered mid-level, and the gardens are perched on a hilly slope with varying elevations that rise up to some 3,500 ft and faces the mountain on its north.. It is split into upper and lower segments and includes four villages. There are over 200 workers employed in the garden. Selim Hill was established in 1870.