This outstanding organic tea is biodynamically farmed at the Makaibari estate in India's Darjeeling district. Established in 1859, Markaibari is the oldest estate in Darjeeling, where a strong commitment to sustainable farming prevails. This Fair Trade Certified organic black tea is made from the new growth of the tea plant a few months after the first harvest of the year, referred to as the "second flush." Second flush organic tea from India (especially the Darjeeling region) offer a darker liquor and stronger body than teas of the first flush, with far less "green" character. This 2014 tea is no exception, having an exquisite aroma and amber color, with fully-ripened Muscat grape and forest floor notes, and an ample astringency.
Ingredients: organic Indian black tea
Serving Size: one rounded teaspoon (1.25) per 8 oz cup of water
Aubrey Says: I prefer the thicker body of this second flush over the first flush.
Jeremy Says: A truly distinctive tea flavor - lemony, nutty, and unlike any other!
Posted by Benjamin Hartwick on 24th Mar 2015
I always want to call this “the magic earth goddess tea.” Nothing else is like it. This, and it’s cousin the first flush, are in a class all by themselves. The Arbor tea staff describe it as having “forest floor notes.” It’s really true. I feel like I’m worshipping the forest goddess when I drink this tea. I have visions of fairies and elves dancing around the forest floor in celebration, flitting among the trees. This is usually the second tea I drink during the day (the black Kenya being the wake up tea). I can’t quite make myself drink this first thing in the morning, perhaps because it is too special, too sacred, but once my brain is in gear, my thoughts turn towards this tea, particularly on a rainy day.
I would say that the complex flavors in this tea sometimes border on being mind altering for me in a wholesome way, particularly if I take the time to be fully mindful of the experience of drinking it, meditating on my sensory experience as I drink it. This is definitely one of my two favorite Arbor teas, and the cost of it is of no consequence whatsoever, considering how unique an special it is, like not other tea I have ever tried. I like just sticking my nose in the canister of unbrewed tea and sniffing it (same for its cousin, the first flush, which smells more, hmm...sprouty, more young and grassy?).
When I first started brewing this tea, I did so at the lower temperature (very important!), but I brewed it for 5 whole minutes. This morning, for whatever reason, I thought to experiment with brewing for just 3 minutes instead. What a difference! It was even better than it was before when brewing it at 5 minutes, and I had already thought it was the goddess tea when I was doing that. For me, 3 minutes is perfect. This tea is so unique that one might argue that it should be a controlled substance. Can I give it, say, a rating of 7 leaves?
Posted by Unknown on 24th Mar 2014
This is my go-to tea. It's a tea that lends itself to really easy ratio tailoring -- I generally use 1 tsp per 8 oz cup if I want a strong, full-bodied morning tea, or half that is I want something lighter. Regardless of amount, this tea is incredibly flavourful -- even a small amount will give you a nice, light cup. Flavors are very floral; you can tell this is a great darjeeling by the smell alone. Even at higher ratios, the tannin count is pretty low, and the muskiness of the tea doesn't interfere with the floral notes. All in all, a spectacular tea. Just be careful not to over-steep: this tea becomes bitter VERY quickly if you leave it in too long.
Posted by Sam K on 11th Dec 2013
This tea has a very mild 'tea flavor' with just a little sweetness and a slight smoky flavor. My first thought was that it tasted a bit like dried apples. Overall it's good tea but nothing to write home about.
Posted by Bix on 9th Oct 2013
I am a 2nd flush man. I do not know why more people favour the first flush, but that's what makes horse races. Please read my review with this bias in mind.
2013 was a poor weather year for the entire Darjeeling region, particularly the north. The major ill result was less tea yield. The result in this Makaibari 2nd flush is a lighter and more astringent tea. As such, I think it more resembles a Makaibari 1st flush. This could be due to altered production techniques, or the rain may have made sufficient oxidation too difficult. —Too bad for me, but great for the “first flushers”.
The bottom line is that I am using almost 2 teaspoons per cup, whilst the 2012 2nd flush required only 1-1/4 teaspoons to brew a solidly darker and less astringent tea. With most Darjeelings, I brew to 3+ minutes, however, this Makaibari is requiring over 4 minutes and more tea. The 2012 2nd flush had no such difficulty. The 2012 2nd flush brewed with a scant 1-1/4 teaspoon and would even suffer a second infusion. Hence, I will go through this batch of 2013 2nd flush much faster.
So buy a lot of the 2012 2nd flush? Nope. That will not help you because TIME is a Darjeeling’s greatest enemy. —Still, I plan to buy a small amount of the 2012 2nd flush. Well stored, sealed in the ‘Fridge will add a month or two on it’s life. I am spoiled. I once had a Makaibari a week or two after processing. Fresh is amazing!
Oh dear, I have frightened you. RELAX!! This is still a GREAT TEA with THE venerable Makaibari signature written all over the taste. You will NOT be disappointed. For all we know, this may be the finest 2013 2nd flush in Darjeeling! My complaints are mostly a matter of personal taste. You can buy this tea with confidence that you are getting a true and classic Makaibari.
Remember: Bring the pot to the kettle not the kettle to the pot!
Posted by Brenna H. on 12th Mar 2013
This tea is amazing. I am normally an oolong drinker, and my fiancée is a black tea drinker. We both agree that this is the best tea we've had, though! It is both light and full-bodied, and it has enough caffeine to fuel me through an overnight shift at the hospital.
Posted by Mark on 23rd Feb 2013
This is my Mid-Day go-to tea. Consistent, dark color, and full of flavor. Adding to it's value, this tea is more then capable of a second steep. It produces a full, but clean flavor without getting needlessly thin. Just watch your 2nd steep time and you'll be happy.
Posted by Lauren on 19th Feb 2013
This is a tasty, full-flavored black tea which has a nice nuttiness to it. I drink it about 2-3 times a week in the morning as a replacement for coffee.
Posted by Art from Northern California on 28th Dec 2011
My morning tea about three days a week. Bracing, full bodied, tasty. Ripe and pungent and nothing green or herbal tasting about it. Not sweet like their Nam tea, so recommend no milk or cream, just straight.
We at Arbor Teas firmly believe that tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. With that being said, here are some recommendations to get you started, but please remember you can make adjustments based on your own personal taste.
There are three main considerations when brewing tea: quantity of tea, water temperature and steeping time.
Quantity of tea: one rounded teaspoon (1.25) per 8 oz cup of water
Water temperature: use water that has been heated to a full rolling boil (212° F)
Steeping time: 3-5 minutes
Tip #1: Use fresh water whenever possible - water that has been sitting in your kettle overnight may impart a flat or stale taste to your tea. Be careful not to boil your water for too long. Over boiled water can sometimes impart an unwanted taste.
Tip #2: Keep in mind that brewing your tea for too long can extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves, so steeping time matters! For a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea.
Learn more from our How To Guides on how to brew loose leaf tea, how to make iced tea, and how to make tea lattes. And don’t forget to check out our Eco-Brewing Tips, too!
There are five significant components found in all tea from the plant camellia sinensis: essential oils, which are the source of tea’s delicious flavor and aroma; polyphenols, which are antioxidants that provide the tea’s brisk flavor and many of its health benefits; phytonutrients, which are small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids including L-theanine (a very rare molecule that has been found in only three sources including camellia sinensis!) ; enzymes; and methylxanthines, which are a family of alkaloids that include caffeine. Each of these components work differently in the human body and a full description is best left to a medical journal. However, recent research exploring the potential health attributes of tea is leading many scientists to agree that tea, may contribute positively to a healthy lifestyle.
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Health Benefits check here.
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Caffeine check here.