Today’s tea is Makaibari Estate 2nd Flush Darjeeling. It is an India black tea from Arbor Teas, and it is organic and fair trade. According to the Arbor Teas website, this tea is from the oldest estate in Darjeeling. This is our last India tea before moving on to my favorites, the Breakfast tea blends. It is a darjeeling tea, so even though it is a black tea it is made to drink without milk. We’ll see if I can handle that.
The leaves smell earthy and clean and have a beautiful gradation of color from dark brown to a little bit of green. When brewed, the leaves remain quite green, although dark. It brews up a lovely golden amber in the cup and retains its earthy scent. The taste leaves a tingle of astringency on the tongue, but doesn’t pucker the whole mouth. It is clean and slightly earthy, but leaning on the cleaner side. I’m not up for drinking tea black, so I add milk. The milk washes out the flavor quite a bit and makes me feel like I’m drinking weak tea. Maybe that wasn’t such a great idea. Without the milk, the flavor was quite good. Now…well, I think I’ve made a mess of it. The flavor is too delicate for milk.
So would I add it to my rotation? Probably not. It is a fine tasting tea, and would be good with food, but I really like drinking my tea with milk, and this is clearly not a tea made for milk. Drunk the proper way, however, it’s good. If you like your tea black you will probably like this tea.