Hello! Today’s post should be called “The Battle of Darjeeling”. I am tasting Harney and Sons organic Darjeeling and also The Republic is Tea’s 2020 limited edition Darjeeling Tea. Yep, I was sucked into buying this limited edition tea that only 249 other people get because I was intrigued that it was picked February 28, 2020 and wanted to know if there’s a difference in freshly picked and processed tea.
Darjeeling Tea is the Camellia sinensis plant grown in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. It can be a thin bodied, light colored infusion with a floral aroma but can also have a musky spiciness to it. Just smelling the two teas, I can tell you the fresh Republic of tea takes in the lighter floral aroma, whereas the Harney and Sons smells heavier with a dark musky aroma.
It’s possible the different colors, aromas, and flavors are due to the time of year the leaves are pulled. The Republic of Tea’s leaves were pulled in early spring, which is known to hold onto floral aromas. Harney and Sons is a mixture of Spring and Autumn picked leaves.
I steeped both teas for 4 minutes in boiling water. In the photo above, the left glass holds the Republic of Tea’s Limited 2020 Edition of Darjeeling tea. The floral aroma carries into the flavor making it a pleasing tea to drink on a spring day. It does have a bit of a bitter bite (say that 5 times fast) for the after taste, so adding a drop of sugar (not too much) would help.
The glass on the right is Harney and Sons Darjeeling Tea. It’s definitely more bitter and would taste best with milk. I envision a cool Autumn day would be a lovely time to drink this one.
I had fun comparing these two! Hopefully the next time I want to order Darjeeling Tea in a restaurant I don’t ask the server if the leaves were picked in the Spring or not 😬
Happy Tea-ventures Everyone!