What Black Are You Drinking

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Victoria
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Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:34 pm

Finished a 2016 pack of Sun Moon Lake Ruby 18 from Floating Leaves. Wow, it’s been a while since I had Ruby 18, a super sweet aromantic and complex black. Knocked me over with aroma swirling around, accompanied by a rich medium body, combined to produce a complex flavor experience. Smooth, great value too. Steeped western style; 4.5gr/230ml/195f/3min in porcelain Inoue Arita-ware kyusu.

For those who are not familiar with Ruby 18, it is a hybrid developed by TTRES (introduced in ‘99 after decades of research), that brings together a wild local Camellia varietal from Sun Moon Lake, with Burmese larger leaf Assamica brought over during the Japanese occupation earlier in the 20th c. Apparently this particular hybrid was developed to enhance its unique flavor, while others were developed primarily to increase yield.

Some sources for your reading pleasure:
The confirmation of Camellia formosensis (Theaceae) as an independent species based on DNA sequence analyses
&
Global Tea Hut March 2016, Ruby Red
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Victoria
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:57 am

Has anyone had great 1st flush Darjeeling from this year’s production? Any recommendations...
YatraTeaCo
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:02 pm

On a recent trip to India I was able to source a FF Darjeeling from what is fast becoming a preferred estate to source from, for me: Puttabong Estate.

I have a strong liking for FF Darjeelings and last year I came across an end March/early April invoice that was exceptional. This year I opted for an early invoice from March which is equally good. Intensely fragrant and floral. After tasting a few invoices from various estates I decided to settle on this tea from Puttabong and another early invoice from Rohini which I hope will be with me soon (fingers crossed!).

I have been guilty of doing myself a disservice and not saving enough for personal consumption, but I am putting an end to it. Needless to say I have been drinking this tea a fair bit.
mael
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:22 pm

I had only two FF darjeeling this year :
Darjeeling Namring Upper EX 18 F.T.G.F.O.P.1 Special Clonal : great tea geranium + citrus, had to brew it 4 min at 85° in a mug to get that strong floral aroma
Darjeeling Puttabong DJ 10 S.F.T.G.F.O.P.1 China Supreme : super good, more lemon + floral
Both from very good and from Palais des Thés. I went to the shop and they had something like 6-7 different darjeeling, I like strong floral FF darjeeling and I left the shop with those two teas that seemed the more strong/complex scent.

Palais des thés got good darjeeling, often expensive and my biggest problem is that they only pack 50gr mini, reason I have chosen only two teas.

For those familiar to darjeeling, do you know if namring upper garden Always got this striking geranium perfum ?
YatraTeaCo
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:09 pm

mael wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:22 pm
I had only two FF darjeeling this year :
Darjeeling Namring Upper EX 18 F.T.G.F.O.P.1 Special Clonal : great tea geranium + citrus, had to brew it 4 min at 85° in a mug to get that strong floral aroma
Darjeeling Puttabong DJ 10 S.F.T.G.F.O.P.1 China Supreme : super good, more lemon + floral
Both from very good and from Palais des Thés. I went to the shop and they had something like 6-7 different darjeeling, I like strong floral FF darjeeling and I left the shop with those two teas that seemed the more strong/complex scent.

Palais des thés got good darjeeling, often expensive and my biggest problem is that they only pack 50gr mini, reason I have chosen only two teas.

For those familiar to darjeeling, do you know if namring upper garden Always got this striking geranium perfum ?
Just looked at their website and man their teas are expensive! Puttabong is almost $60/100 gms! Are these considered normal prices in Europe? I know Mariage Freres is very pricey.

Not too sure about Upper Namring.
Tead Off
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Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:51 pm

mael wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:22 pm
I had only two FF darjeeling this year :
Darjeeling Namring Upper EX 18 F.T.G.F.O.P.1 Special Clonal : great tea geranium + citrus, had to brew it 4 min at 85° in a mug to get that strong floral aroma
Darjeeling Puttabong DJ 10 S.F.T.G.F.O.P.1 China Supreme : super good, more lemon + floral
Both from very good and from Palais des Thés. I went to the shop and they had something like 6-7 different darjeeling, I like strong floral FF darjeeling and I left the shop with those two teas that seemed the more strong/complex scent.

Palais des thés got good darjeeling, often expensive and my biggest problem is that they only pack 50gr mini, reason I have chosen only two teas.

For those familiar to darjeeling, do you know if namring upper garden Always got this striking geranium perfum ?
i did not have the same impression of the Puttabong FF. My batch was from LC-3. I felt the tea was picked too early and not processed in a way that brought out its capacity for full flavor and aroma. I have even been waiting patiently for a couple of months to see whether the tea would 'settle' and reveal its identity. No such luck. I bought the tea from Tea Emporium which praised both of the teas that you list and they were also the most expensive. It could be that the difference in the invoices is the difference in what you describe as super good and what I describe as super disappointing. Sounds like we are talking about two very different teas. This is why I always say that you can't judge the quality from the invoice #'s.
mael
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Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:52 pm

Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:47 pm

Are these considered normal prices in Europe?
Palais des Thés and Mariage Frères have to pay for their shops, their teas will be more expensive than an online shop.Their 2019 FF darjeeling selection goes from 17€/100gr to 52€/100gr.
They are the biggest companies in France when it come to select darjeeling, but they may not be as heavy in the business than japanese, english, dutch or german companies that put more $ when it come to select the best batchs.
Sounds like we are talking about two very different teas.
Sure different batch different tea.
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