Darjeeling Gopaldhara Maharaja is a captivating fruity Darjeeling oolong from Gopaldhara Tea Estate. This Maharaja, or ‘King of Teas’, is made from leaves harvested from AV2 clonal bushes in early summer. It has a pronounced muscatel character with a refreshing citrus aftertaste. This batch is a FTGFOP1 ‘Wonder Muscatel Gold’ grade from the Second Flush crop picked in June 2021.
Like all our Gopaldhara teas, we source this tea directly from Rishi Saria, the owner and director of Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates. Gopaldhara Tea Estate is nestled in the Mirik Valley, in the Himalayan foothills, and is one of the highest tea estates in Darjeeling with elevations of between 1,700m and 2,100m. It is renowned for producing teas of exceptional quality and very often quite unusual character.
Very much like the classic Second Flush Darjeeling from Gopaldhara, this oolong represents some of the best traits that are sought after in Second Flush teas. This particular Second Flush oolong is processed from AV2 clonal bushes, the cultivar of choice for characterful Darjeeling teas bursting with complex flavours. Being processed as an oolong, it is slightly less oxidised than a classic Second Flush Darjeeling tea, having a lighter body. This allows to bring out some of the more complex flavours from this fine tea. Gopaldhara positions this oolong as a muscatel tea – and we couldn’t agree more – as the real highlights are the characterful muscatel, honey and fruity flavours that dominate this Darjeeling oolong.
Darjeeling Gopaldhara Maharaja oolong has neat mixed leaves with tips. When brewed it is easy to see that the originating material for this tea was exclusively made up from small whole leaves and buds. The liquor produced has a dark amber colour and a fruity aroma. The taste is smooth and easy-going, yet complex. There are the expected honey and muscatel notes that are combined with stony and fruity flavours. There is a lightly mineral edge to this tea, although much less pronounced that on many other Darjeeling teas. The main flavours are nicely rounded by a tangy aftertaste that has notes of lemons and citrus. This oolong has a fully body with a lighter aftertaste, strangely reminiscent of drinking a good light black tea with a slice of lemon!
We suggest brewing parameters of 90°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste, brewing multiple times. Definitely one to be taken without milk to fully appreciate the finer flavours.
This Darjeeling Gopaldhara Maharaja oolong tea was first featured in our February 2019 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.