Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ChaiChun Tea, Sunshine and Moondrop, A Tale of Two Darjeelings!

Currently where I am staying there is a beautiful view of Lake Monona from the balcony, on most days having the windows open to bring in lake sounds and smells would bring me happiness, today not so much.  There is a toxic algae bloom ongoing due to all the rain we have gotten recently, record high heat, and of course the ever present fertilizer based pollutants crashing into the lake. I feel a strong kinship with this lake (which is honestly more than a little weird) and seeing it sick has not been the best for my mood of late. Especially with another burst of record setting heat on the way this weekend. I want to go swimming and to enjoy the lake, and I am not a good enough necromancer to turn it into a giant shambling monster, so instead I just have to watch the dead fish float to the surface and smell the stench.

North Tukvar Sunshine First Flush 2018

Sorry, that was grim, but it is my view right now and pervading my thoughts. Luckily I can drown my sorrows in delicious tea so let us get to it! ChaiChun sent me first flush teas (yay!) and I am looking at two of those today, starting with North Tukvar Sunshine. First off, this estate is making waves with its sustainability, using its own compost and gravity irrigation, AWESOME! The leaves are fairly small and a bit chopped up with a vibrant color, I pretty immediately ignore the appearance when the smell hits me like a wave! Strong and very aromatic, this tea smells of white grapes and honey (classic with a Darjeeling) and toasted nuts with a woodsy and slightly fruit tree floral smells. It is a pleasantly nuanced smelling tea! After steeping the tea retains most its notes and gains a fun grapefruit note that was surprising and very refreshing, which is good since my brain is mush at the moment of drinking this. The taste is crisp and light with an intensely sweet start reminiscent of cotton candy, honey, fresh very juicy grapes (omg you guys, this tea tastes of cotton candy grapes) and a slight bittergreen finish that reminds me of microgreens and a bit of radishes. This tea has some staying power as well, I was worried with the smallish leaves that it would putter out quickly but nope, it gives for many steeps.

Puttabong Moondrop First Flush 2018

I want to say I picked the moon and sun themed teas to compare on purpose, but that credit goes to ChaiChun for sending them, perfect though! The aroma of this very fluffy leafed tea is also pretty potent, I can tell these are super fresh teas because I swear the aroma just explodes out of the bag when I open them. Strong notes of sage and fresh grapes with undertones of orange blossom and green peppers. The first thing that struck me when drinking this tea was the smooth mouthfeel, it is so velvety and soft, it was very pleasant! Tasting the tea, I was presented with notes of grape and apricot skin, herbaceous notes of savory, sage, and oregano, and a lingering aftertaste of orange blossoms and fruit trees. It too goes for many steeps, and becomes crisp and greener as the tea fades out.

Once again, ChaiChun sent me super yummy tea!

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