Tea Trekker’s 2019 2nd Flush Vintage Muscatel tea from Jungpana Tea Estate is a connoisseur’s treat: classically rich muscatel flavor accented with several light influences of traditional woody-ness and stone fruit in the flavor profile. This exquisite tea is full-bodied and smooth. It is slightly dry but not astringent. There is no biscuit influence but rather a complex blend of stone fruit and clean earth flavor components.
There are significant elements of stone fruit in its aroma, and the ever-so-slight aroma that one picks up from the earth when walking at a wood’s edge after a brief shower. We discerned a fascinating hint of camphor in the aroma as the tea cools. The aroma is in perfect proportion to the flavor so they work in tandem to provide a wonderful, complete flavor package.
This tea will accept dairy and/or sweetener, but we prefer it plain so that all the nuance of the complex flavors can dance on the palate.
The dry leaf of Tea Trekker’s Jungpana Tea Estate’s Vintage Muscatel 2nd Flush tea is traditional in both shape, size and color. The leaf is a mix of sturdy, mid-length leaf and well-twisted long leaf, and is very even in its sorting. There is no contrasting tip because the tips oxidized along with the leaf. The leaf is a beautiful mottled mahogany brown in color, towards the dark end of the spectrum for a Darjeeling. The steeped leaf shows an incredible variation of color and the open, large leaf is quite stunning.
Tea Trekker is quite fond of well-executed 2nd Flush Darjeeling manufacture. It represents the more traditional, classic style of Darjeeling preparation, using primarily China bush leaf and a fuller oxidation. There is rarely much green leaf in the finished product and the liquor steeps to a clear, medium amber. The water temperature required is not too strict, so it is more casual to prepare than the 1st Flush Darjeeling teas.
The Jungpana Tea Estate is situated near the famous town of Darjeeling. The tea gardens have an excellent location and altitude; they lie at 3,000 – 4500 ft and are blessed with a nurturing south-facing orientation. The exceptional quality of tea produced at this estate is derived almost exclusively from China jat – leaf plucked from China tea bush varietals.
To consistently produce some of the finest Darjeeling in the world for over a century, the management at Jungpana plucks only the most delicate leaves. They have mastered the intricacies of manufacture, and have premium quality as their priority. The Jungpana Estate was planted by the British, then owned initially by the Scotland-based Duncan Brothers. Later, it was owned by the Ranas of Nepal and thereafter has been with the Kejriwal family for more than five decades.