Friday, March 5, 2010

Want to try some new Darjeelings?

Benoy Thapa of Thunderbolt Tea in Darjeeling, India has generously sent me a box of samples, and I must confess I did enjoy telling my friends at the office that yes, this box really did come straight from Darjeeling! If you keep up with the always interesting Benoy on his Facebook page, you'll learn a thing or two about the culture there. I have learned that while one day he was dealing with leeches from the monsoons, on another day he was eagerly awaiting the opening of the new "Twilight" movie, and on another day he was celebrating a religious festival, so in many ways we're really a lot alike (except for those leeches, thank goodness!).

This week I had the pleasure of sampling my third Thunderbolt Tea (tasting notes are below, in the style of my 2009 project of sampling all the teas in "The Harney and Sons Guide to Tea"). Since Benoy has gifted me with so many tea samples, I decided it would be appropriate to share some with friends at work and with you "Tea With Friends" friends as well! So today, if you'd like to try some teas from our friend in Darjeeling, just let me know and you'll be entered to win both some teas from Thunderbolt Tea AND the fourth copy of "The Teaberry Strangler," the autographed book from Laura Childs. A nice way to end the week, don't you think? Good luck!

Giddapahar Musk '09 Second Flush

Category: Darjeeling Tea

Purveyor: Thunderbolt Tea

Dry leaf appearance: Dark, almost black bits of tea leaf with a few lighter brown pieces scattered throughout.

Wet leaf appearance: Leaves of the steeped tea looked rather like chopped greens.

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 212 degrees, 4-1/2 minutes (because I don't like my tea too strong)

Scent: Dry, the tea leaf had that "woodshop" smell that makes me think of fresh wood shavings, with a hint of the muscatel fragrance we associate with Darjeelings. Steeped, the tea had much more of the muscatel fragrance plus some vegetal notes reminiscent of steamed asparagus.

Color: Deep coppery brown.

Flavor: As with the earlier Thunderbolt Teas I've tried, I couldn't help thinking this tea tasted exceedingly clean, crisp and fresh, with only a slight bit of astringency afterward. I very much enjoyed this tea and will consider ordering it -- after I've tried out some more of my samples!

Additional notes: According to the Thunderbolt website, this tea was saved for them by the owner of Giddapahar, and they call it "an excellent and affordable musky Second Flush Darjeeling tea from Giddapahar Tea Estate." I agree!


  1. Angela, you're always brewing up some fun! I'd love to sip a little Darjeeling with Theodosia. B-)

  2. Count me in! Darjeeling is one of my favorites!

  3. I've never had Thunderbolt Tea, but I do enjoy Darjeeling, so I would like to try some. Your tasting notes were great, although I'm not sure I needed to know about the leeches. ;-) (That's a whole other story from my past.)

    I'm still hoping for the autographed book.

  4. Angela, what a fun post and a fun way to end the week! Yes, please enter me in your contest and thanks for all your great postings,

  5. Please enter me to win the last Teaberry Strangler novel! Loved your posts this week!
    Susan T. from Ohio

  6. OK, so, I wasn't going to go for the books cuz I have won a couple of your giveaways but you hooked me with the tea.
    I did just finish OOLONG DEAD so I need the book!!

  7. I would love to sample the Darjeeling! And win the book! Thanks for all your work in keeping this blog a dependable source of entertainment!

  8. Oh I could smell it from here,,,count me in...thanks so much for sharing...
    hanna_563@ msn dot com

  9. My DH loves Darjeelings. This one sounds like just his cup of tea.

    You must love going to your mailbox, Angela. Always a surprise waiting.

    Thanks for letting us know about this tea.

  10. I would love to try the Darjeeling.
    Thank you for making this week so fun!

  11. excellent tea review- I am fond of

  12. Angela, A great ending to a great week. I always enjoy your tasting notes. Please enter me to win a little Theodosia and Darjeeling! Happy weekend.

  13. Cool, cool, cool that it came straight from Darjeeling!

  14. I've also never heard of Thunderbot Tea, but tea and a great book do indeed seem like the perfect ending to this week, please throw my name in the hat for your goodie giveaway :o)

    Have a great weekend, Angela!

  15. I'm always glad to try new teas, so please include me.

  16. I'm entering for the tea and/or the book - one would go perfectly with the other!

  17. Please enter me in the contests.

  18. Yes!!! Count me in for the drawing for the tea and book. What a perfect combination for the end of the week.

  19. Thanks to you Angela, and to Ms. Childs for her generous donation of her "Teaberry Strangler" copies this week. Please enter me as I love Darjeeling. Have a great weekend!


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