DARJEELING LINGIA FIRST FLUSH
This is the first time in my experience [at this tea tasting at the Tea Gschwendner in Algonquin] that the smell of the wet leaves was similar to the smell of the cup. Typically, the tea leaves and the cup are very different. That's not a bad thing, because smelling the leaves adds a different note to my experience, and makes it more fun. But here, it was delightful to have the tea itself share the highly fragrant quality of the wet leaves: a complex smell like cherries, and honey, and ash, and maybe some vegetal notes in there. It's those layers of smell that are so intoxicating, because you have to tease them out to understand what you're experiencing.
Pure gold color, transparent.
Mild, ascerbic, and there are these cherry and honey notes that I was tasting, undoubtedly picking up because of the rich aroma of the cup. Perhaps I wouldn't have noticed this flavor profile so much if I hadn't been able to integrate my sense of smell so much into the experience.
This was paired with the homemade oat and chocolate Hobnob cookies. I kept the chocolate-dipped part until last, because I didn't want the choc. to interfere with the taste of the teas. I know a lot of people swear by chocolate and tea, but I think with very delicate and complex flavors, it's best not to compete.
This is last year's first-flush Darjeeling. The new first flushes come in April/May, and it's just a bit too early in the season. I would love to be in Darjeeling next month! I wonder how tea flowers smell when they're still on the live plant.