Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mail from Darjeeling

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail that began "Dear Tea Lover ..." Now I am on so many tea vendor mailing lists I almost clicked "Delete" out of habit, but this one continued "Namaste and Greetings from Darjeeling, India!" It was actually a personal e-mail from a gentleman with Thunderbolt Tea in Darjeeling, India, wondering if I would like to receive some samples of their Second Flush Tea. Some tea samples straight from Darjeeling? You bet!

The package arrived at the office this week and I opened it in the presence of someone who would share in my joy, my tea friend (and colleague) Holly. We eagerly tore into the paper packages (she kept me from spilling tea all over my desk), poured the contents into baggies (practical Holly suggested I tape the labels to the bags) and sniffed away. Ahh! This tea smelled so fresh, and something about it reminded me of the scent of the First Flush Tea I got at the Charleston Tea Plantation last year. Interestingly, I thought, Holly found something about one of the tea scents reminiscent of crisp, perfectly-fried okra!

First, I tried the Risheehat Clonal Flowery Second Flush. It had a very full-bodied, rich taste and, perhaps my palate is overly impressed that this particular Darjeeling came straight from the tea plantation, but I absolutely adored it. At home, I prepared the Arya Ruby (Tippy) Second Flush. Again, I enjoyed everything from the appearance of the dry leaf (variegated colors ranging from gray to deepest green), to the wet leaf (full bits of tea leaf swirling in a coppery brew), and of course the delicious taste. Again, this is such an insufficient word to have to use but "fresh" is the one that comes to mind. I also enjoyed looking at the quite educational Thunderbolt Tea web site, and I love that instead of saying a tea is "Sold Out" they make it a positive statement and say "All Sold." I'm so delighted Benoy Thapa of Thunderbolt stumbled across this blog and introduced me to yet another lovely new tea tasting experience!


  1. Angela and Holly, what fun you had! I went to the site link and had a grand time. There are all sorts of things going on there. I especially like the blog site: I can see that they were really complimenting you regarding your tea blog.

    Personally, I am interested in those paper machi gift boxes:
    ..I have 2 round ones on my desk and at least one other around here somewhere, but I really like the Raja's Story Box.

    Additionally, I want to get some of that Margaret's Hope to compare to some I've had for a while.

    Wants and wishes...I am so GLAD that you read that email!

  2. What fun it must have been to receive that package from India and sample the tea. I enjoy Darjeeling tea, but I'm sure that my boxed brand doesn't compare with tea fresh from the plantation.

    I enjoyed exploring the Thunderbolt Tea site - thanks for the link.

  3. Oh, what a wonderful surprise and gift! Darjeeling is one of my favorites and I'll bet it will be one of your's after this tasting. I've only had it in the loose form once and it truly does make a differnce in taste. ENJOY!!

  4. I recently received a similar email from another tea company in India. Now I am waiting for my samples and will share. I also almost deleted it. So glad you enjoyed the samples and shared with us here. Now I must go visit their website.

  5. What wonderful samples. Thanks for sharing.

  6. ah thank you for writing about our tea. hope you enjoy it. Happy Tea Sipping and Good Day!


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