Happy first day of summer! I hope it was a good one for all those who care about the length of the day, I am personally hoping for a bit of a storm. Call me superstitious but I like to think the weather on the first day of each season will reflect the rest of the season, and frankly I don't want a summer that is hot and sunny...I want cool and stormy! The weather is teasing me too, we are surrounded by storms and they keep doing that thing where they disintegrate before reaching me and then reform, which I always take weirdly personal.
Darjeeling time!! I am excited, I was beginning to think I was not going to get to try any of this year's first flush Darjeelings, by Teabox came to my rescue, yay! Summer is not summer without at least a cup of Darjeeling! Ok, excitement has eased down so I can type without all the exclamation marks, today we are looking at Jungpana Classic Spring Black, not my first tea from this estate, but it is my first time trying their first flush, so this is exciting. Examining the curly and colorful (seriously, Darjeeling leaves are always so colorful) leaves with my nose puts me in a happy place. Notes of gentle muscatel (specifically muscadines, yum) maple wood, honey, gentle saffron, a touch of very distant spice (think very light pepper and nigella seeds) and a finish of faint flowers, the description calls it tuberose and they are not wrong, and tuberose for those who have not had their nose in all the flowers, smells like an earthy gardenia.
Ben, who smelled the dried leaves, insisted on having a mug of this tea, while I had mine brewed in my steeping apparatus and sipped from a vintage teacup. Wow, the steeping leaves are very aromatic, one of those teas whose aroma fills up the room and borders on heady. With notes of geranium and cashews, fresh juicy scupernong grapes, and sweet lychees, this is a very sweet and refreshing smelling pile of wet leaves. The aroma of the golden liquid is surprisingly floral, notes of tuberose and plumeria, with lychee, honey, and grape. It has an exotic quality to it without being heady and heavy.
I never did find out what Ben thought of the tea, he took his mug and wandered off with it, I assume he enjoyed it since he came back for seconds...and thirds. The tea is really sweet and refreshing! It starts with a crisp lettuce and tiny bit of woody brisk, then moves to geranium and orange blossom, and then like a juicy explosion, my mouth is filled with lychees and scuppernong sweetness. The sweetness is really quite thick, combining with a gentle woody briskness, keeping the sweetness from becoming too cloying. I, of course, had a second steep, and noticed that the lettuce crispness and woody briskness was more predominant and stuck around for longer, going well into the midtaste. Unsurprisingly there was a wonderful aftertaste, lingering lychee and geranium, sticking around for a while. Jungpana, you continue to not disappoint!
This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.