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bear mountain darjeeling

January 13, 2010

This is my first experience with loose leaf Darjeeling. I acquired this tea from a local coffee and tea shop called Bear Mountain. They don’t appear to have a website, and there is absolutely no information about this tea on the package, just “Darjeeling”. That’s unfortunate, and I wasn’t planning on writing a review for this one, but here I am. I regret that this introduction isn’t very informative, but I will do my best.

The dry leaf is dark, but not like a black tea, this has more the color of an Oolong (Darjeeling is not as oxidized as other black teas, so is somewhat like Oolong), but the leaves are dissimilar. This Darjeeling is comprised of tiny, rolled up twig-like leaves.  The fragrance is woody, and bark-like with a little white pepper.

I steeped the tea, and the color is deep amber-honey-red. Almost like the color of an amber ale. There are lots of fantastic aromas in this cup. I am smelling carmelized stone-fruit, honey, a little tropical fruit.

On the palate, there is a some bitterness, but the flavor is very complex and appealing. I detect a sweet note on the finish, which lingers, but is less pronounced than the tannins. This is a flavor reminiscent of black tea, but not the same. There is a hint of a smoky, almost chestnut-ty characteristic, and again fruit like apricot and peach. All the flavors are subtle, but they seem to come out in layers which is very nice. I steeped the tea again which produced another cup of the same strength, but some of the tannic properties have faded, or at least somehow “rounded out” which is a good thing for me.

This is not my favorite cup of tea, I have a little trouble with too much bitterness, unless it is well balanced with other flavors. Maybe I over-steeped the leaves, but I don’t think I did. I just think maybe the quality isn’t there. Regardless, there was enough complexity in the flavor and aroma that I am very curious to try more Darjeeling, the “Champagne of teas”. This tasting has hugely piqued my interest in this variety.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2010 1:54 am

    I hear that adding milk to Darjeeling makes it a LOT better, but as a strict tea drinker, the thought of putting milk in my tea makes me sick :P. Just NOT a fan of that! Can’t wait to get some darjeeling loose leaf myself 🙂

  2. June 7, 2010 11:02 pm

    I found a “Bear Mountain” tea – Sencha Green – delicious. HAve you traced down Bear Mountain? And, if not, can you comment on Sencha Green tea.
    Thanks Jim Scott

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