Hooray! The horrid headache that I had yesterday seems to have mostly calmed down, I am worried it might be a side effect of my sleep meds, but I get awful headaches quite often, so probably not. My sleeping seems to be better, even if my sleep schedule seems to be all over the place, with luck that will even itself out soon. More important news, guess who is getting back into Dropzone Commander, yeah it is me, no real guess there. I had put it to the wayside for a while to focus on other things (and it seemed that no one was playing it at Tabletop) so when I got back from PA and found out it had become popular, well, time to get back to work on painting the Scourge! Brain-slugs for life! In all honestly I love the Scourge, but they are so creepy.
I heard that the best way to keep the Scourge from possessing you is tea (or a salt based shampoo) so that means it is time to break out some Golden Tips Tea! Today we are looking at Giddapahar Muscatel Darjeeling Black Tea Second Flush, I go back and forth as to which flush of Darjeeling is my favorite, clearly I need to sample a lot more before I can make an assessment, I know it is greatly based on my moods. So, about this particular Darj (is it considered uncouth to shorten the name, hope not because I have been doing it for year, at least it doesn't sound as bad as when I shorten the name of Puerh!) it comes from Giddapahar (whose name translates to Eagle Cliffs) Tea Estate, located in the beautiful (seriously, I was just daydreaming over photos) Kurseong Valley, this particular estate was established in 1881 and has some of the oldest China bush varietals. It is actually thought that the second flush rather than the first flush is the best produced by this estate, being extremely heavy in the muscatel notes. Tea, you had me at muscatel, it might be one of my favorite notes in tea because (depending on flush) it reminds me of either Scuppernongs or Muscadines, two of the best grapes ever and possibly the best food to come out of my homeland (it is the South in case you didn't know...not that I ever shut-up about it) Anyway, the aroma of this tea, at first is loamy and roasted peanuts, and then like a small raisin themed explosion, the aroma blooms into muscadines and slightly spiced wine. At the finish there is a hint of honey and dry leaves. I admit I spent the majority of the time waiting for my kettle to heat up with my nose in the tea, I just go crazy for that muscatel aroma.
Once I give the tea its required steeping, the aroma is less muscatel, it is still there, but the wet leaves are overshadowed by autumn leaves and loam. The finish, again, is honey, this time joined with the distinct aroma of sultanas. The aroma of the liquid has a surprising note of malt and a strong presence, it is a heavy tea, like I am sinking into a teacup...that is a good sign! There are also notes of raisins and honey with a finish of loam and dry autumn leaves.
The tea starts out a bit dry then switches almost immediately to smooth, I always find it amusing when teas do that. The taste begins with malt and loam, it is a bit brisk, but as it switches to the smooth mouthfeel it also transitions to sweet muscatel and honey. I should say that the muscatel notes are more on the raisin side, and a little bit like muscadine jelly and a touch like a spicy red wine. I am sure people who are into wine can name it perfectly, but since I have only memories of tastes and not names I cannot give an exact comparison. I liked this tea, I was expected the taste to be like the aroma and have more of a muscatel explosion, but the more subtle notes are quite tasty too.