Review: Darjeeling Sungma Summer
I’ve been into black tea lately after considerable time devoted to many steepings of various oolong teas. Adagio’s Darjeeling tea is another bright gem among many of the black teas available on the market today. The liquor is invigorating and flavorful without being overpowering. I liked its full-bodied richness which stands up well on its own without cream and sugar. (Though, of course, it’s delicious with a bit of cream and sugar).
The tea description from the Adagio Teas website:
Black tea from the famous Darjeeling region of India. Darjeeling tea is treasured for its rich golden liquor and distinctive muscatel (a type of grape) flavor. This tea scores high on both counts. Bright and aromatic, floral muscat grape aroma, with warm spice notes and also sugary squash. Plush, tangy mouthfeel with a sweet finish and balanced astringency. This excellent summer harvest tea comes from the highly regarded Sungma Estate.
One heaping teaspoon per 8 oz cup, for 3-5 minutes at 212F. Can be enjoyed with lemon or milk.
Darjeeling teas have been called the “champagne” of teas, and belong to the subset of teas which grow in the high-altitude mountains bordering the Himalayan mountains. The unique climate, good soil, and altitude produces a unique flavor in the teas. Similar to how certain wines can only be called by certain appellations based on the source of the grapes in France, the term Darjeeling is also restricted to the 86 estates officially recognized as producers of Darjeeling tea.
The dry leaves are always gorgeous, with various levels of oxidization that remind me of fall colors. These steam and leaf fragments are dark brown, black, with hints of olive green and smell earthy and fragrant. Upon steeping the wet leaves open and expand, becoming plump and red-tipped. The liquor is dark red gold and fragrant.
I steeped this for four minutes, and it came out brisk, full-bodied and not at all bitter. I have to confess that I don’t have the tea experience to really identify the distinct flavor of muscatel that the description claims, but I felt like there was a distinct flavor to the tea — I’d describe it as a pleasant acidity and maltiness.
Overall, I really like this tea. It’s strong without being overpowering or bitter, and has a richness to the flavor which makes for a pleasant and enjoyable mouthfeel.
Pricing & Where to Buy
Pack Size: 3oz or 9oz bag
Price per unit: $9 or $29 for 3 and 9 oz sizes, respectively
This tea can be purchased on the Adagio Teas website here.