Monday, July 6, 2009
In my parents' house, comfort food was (and remains) all-American fare like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, or stuffed peppers, or Swedish meatballs-- in spite of the fact that none of us are Swedish. When I asked about that, Dad once told me they were made out of ground Swedes. As opposed to air Swedes, I suppose, which are far too difficult to catch. [Ba-dum-dum! Thank you. I'll be here all week.]
Last night's educational but unsatisfying tea-tasting adventure left me wanting something familiar, so this morning as I work, I have returned to my beloved 2008 Phuguri Estate 2nd-Flush Darjeeling FTGFOP1, which I bought from TeaGschwendner not long ago. To my shock, I discover I have not written a review of this tea yet! Rather quickly, because this is a workday, I will try to let you see what I love about this particular Darjeeling.
It's a funny thing, how tastes change over time. Lately, I've been very interested in exploring Chinese green teas and some dan cong oolongs, which I am less familiar with. But the Phuguri provides me the comfort of coming home again. Indeed, this is my go-to tea whenever I am in need, and when I can afford it. It's middlingly expensive, but I can go through it so quickly that it easily blows through my tea budget.
This tea is extraordinary. It's a second-flush Darjeeling, with all the complex notes that attract and keep my attention from the moment I smell the leaves, all the way through to the amazingly complex and long-lasting huigan [sweet aftertaste].
Phuguri Darjeeling is a black tea that appears to be darkly transparent amber. The power of the tea is locked in its flavor, not so much the aroma. The flavor reminds me of Spring honeysuckle, with both smoothness and not-quite-tart astringency at the same time.
The second-flush Phuguri estate Darjeeling never fails to make a completely satisfying cup. Delightful, subtle yet bold, dry yet smooth, with a restrained sweetness I find entirely captivating. It's one of those teas that I drink with my eyes closed, and which I need to return to over and over again. If TeaGschwendner ever stops selling it, I'll have to move to India.