Brand: English Tea Store
Type: Black tea
Form: Loose leaf
Review: Mim Estate Darjeeling is a ridiculously inexpensive (on sale now for $4.69 for 4 ounces) Darjeeling tea sold under the English Tea Store’s private label. The dry leaf is small and varicolored with a few twigs in the mix. It has a very faint, somewhat pungent nose with a hint of fruit. It infuses to a honey-gold color with a spicier, fruitier nose than I would have expected, given how faint the leaf smelled in its dry state. The tea is light-medium bodied with a very slight astringency. It also has the expected “muscatel” notes along with some unexpected cinnamon and vanilla notes. This is a spicy Darjeeling.
Drinking Tips: While you can certainly drink this tea while it is piping hot, I strongly advise you to let it cool down for a few minutes. As it becomes cooler, the muscatel flavor emerges, along with some lovely sweetness. When the tea is very hot, these wonderful flavors just don’t make themselves known. Do not, however, be tempted to “cheat” by making this tea with cooler water, as cooler water can’t extract the flavors that boiling or near-boiling water can. Infuse the tea, decant, and then let it sit and cool for five minutes in order to enjoy all its flavors.
Preparation Tips: I used 4 grams of tea with eight ounces of water to make this tea. Boiling water is fine, but keep the steep time down to about two-and-a-half minutes.
Food Pairings: This tea is fine on its own, but is light and neutral enough to match with most “tea time” foods, including light sandwiches, breads and sweets other than chocolate. Chocolate would not be a good pairing with this tea as it would simply overwhelm and vanquish the flavor of Mim Estates Darjeeling.