darjeeling blues

The problem with migrating from bagged tea to loose tea is that you have to use up the residual bags — two lone “Constant Comment” bags from god-knows-when, a smattering of Tazo tea given as a present by a Starbucks-lover who didn’t know any better, and mysterious other bags of unknown provenance. This morning I decided to do my duty and make one of the Twinings Darjeeling bags. The plus side : it seems nearly impossible to oversteep this bag as long as you actually want to drink your tea and don’t forget that you made it. The negative side : it tastes nothing like Darjeeling. I was merely lighter than my usual Twinings standby, the English Breakfast. In contrast, this weekend I tried the Moondakotee Estate FTGFOP1 (Second Flush), which came in a sampler pack, and found it to be delightful — huge leaves and a nice robust body with all the floral notes and so on. I’ve had a few cheaper ones which have also been a pleasure to drink. It’s not a fair comparison, since the loose tea cost about 50% more than the bagged stuff, but does there even exist a decent Darjeeling bag, or should I just use the remaining ones to help my tired eyes?