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One of the classics, chai is a staple in South Asia. While the best chai are those that are made from scratch, sometimes its nice to have all the ingredients blended together before hand!This chai has quite the bite to it, with extra ginger and aniseed, along with the classics of cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and chicory roots. All on a strong Indian black tea base. Chai is traditionally served with milk and sugar. Perfect for the autumn and winter; or iced in the summer!
This second flush from the Margaret's Hope estate is a classic example of a Darjeeling. Darjeelings are recognized for their distinctive muscatel taste and aroma unique to the region. Margaret's Hope reached acclaim in the 1930's when it set the highest quality and price of Darjeeling teas <1>. Second flushes are the second harvest in the region, starting in May each year. They are also the most popular of the flushes, as the tell tale muscatel taste is at its peak.
While much has changed since the 1930's, Margaret's Hope remains a staple standard of Darjeeling teas. To many, with its delicious fruit notes and mild astringency, Margaret's Hope is what a Darjeeling should taste like.
Banerjee, Gangadhar, and Srijeet Banerjee. Darjeeling Tea The Golden Brew. Lucknow: International Book Distributing Co., 2007. Print.
This second flush from the Balasun estate is a classic example of a Darjeeling. Darjeelings are recognized for their distinctive muscatel taste and aroma unique to the region. The Balasun estate is named after the Balasun river, and was founded in 1871. Second flushes are the second harvest in the region, starting in May each year. They are also the most popular of the flushes, as the tell tale muscatel taste is at its peak. With 450 acres in production, Balasun is planted with a majority of original cultivar/sub-species Camellia Sinensis sinensis. Ranging in altitude from the bottom of the river, to a height of 1375 meters, this estate covers a wide diverse growing clime. Balasun currently has the best muscatel taste we have found in current Darjeelings and second best of all the Darjeelings we have ever tried. That being said, it is also the most temperamental. We do not suggest this tea for beginners due to the price. While we are reluctant to post brewing instructions, our advice is to brew around 5-6 grams in .5 litres of water at a temperature of around 205-210. Timing on this tea is critical, but around 3-4 minutes of brewing. When we are brewing this tea for ourselves; we suggest watching and smelling the tea to try and pin-point the perfect moment. Again this tea is very temperamental, but the reward is an amazing muscatel brew better than some wines. Do not overbrew, as will become very astringent. One of our 'grand cru' teas!
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