Tea Emporium’s Thurbo Moonlight [Episode 82]

In episode 82, Denny and James review an oddity for TeaDB, a darjeeling. The Thurbo Moonlight is a second flush Darjeeling. As a tea it is tasty and fragrant and can be brewed light during the nighttime. Big thanks to Benoit for providing the tea!

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13 Responses to Tea Emporium’s Thurbo Moonlight [Episode 82]

  1. Peter says:

    Nice to see you guys reviewing tea styles of which you are not familiar. And (as always!) great to have that highly entertaining banter between the 2 of you.

  2. Arnold Zeman says:

    Great show! BTW, James nailed the pronunciation: Ben-Wah .
    My understanding is that Darjeeling is a black tea by classification because it is produced in line with all the steps of black tea processing. It’s sometimes thought of as an oolong because it’s oxidation level more closely resembles an oolong, but that is not the basis of tea classification, i.e., it’s the production process not the oxidation level that is the standard for tea classification or so I’ve learned.
    I usually flash brew 1st flush Darjeeling in a gaiwan, using 3-5 grams of leaf which yields about 4 or so steepings.
    Last point: Darjeeling is Camellia sinensis sinensis not assamica which may account for your comments on similarity with Yunnan reds.

    • brian says:

      Aren’t Yunnan reds also assamica? As is puerh

      • James says:

        Hi Brian,

        Thanks for the comment. I believe that is correct. A bit of a role reversal when we get to Yunnan and Darjeeling with the varietals.

        Cheers!
        -James

    • James says:

      Hi Arnold,

      Thanks for the comment and sharing your brewing parameters! Seems like good Darjeeling will do pretty alright using gong-fu(ish) parameters.

      Yes as you pointed out below, Denny was the one to get the pronunciation, leaving me as the lone ignorant American.

      Cheers!
      -James

  3. Arnold Zeman says:

    I meant Denny deserves the credit re nailing the pronunciation of Benoît!

  4. Bef says:

    Yep, Denny got the name right 😉

    An interesting characteristic of 2nd flush is that they are much cheaper than 1st flush, even though they are not lower quality. And I actually don’t really like 1st flush.

    Tried a bunch of Yunnan black teas lately and found that the finish of Darjeeling is really short compared to them. Also Darjeeling seem to have a more subtle, less bold and more balanced taste compared to them (not that it’s better, just quite different)…

    • James says:

      Hi Bef,

      Thanks for the comment and sharing your notes. Interesting stuff. It’d be fun to try these Darjeelings in more of a gong-fu style to see how they do.

      Cheers!
      -James

  5. Konrad says:

    Hello guys!

    Good point comparing 2nd flush Darjeeling with the Oriental Beauty, as both teas are bug-bitten by leafhoppers. This gives that very distinct muscatel taste.

    When bitten, the tea plant tries to protect itself by producing antibodies. It may be a kind of simplification, but you can say that the leaves start to oxydise before harvest.

    Cheers from Poland!

  6. Charles says:

    Just a few comments
    1) A pretty typical recommendation for Darjeeling is 2-3g per 6oz which would be about 1.3-2g for your gaiwan, so you are on the light end of that scale.

    2) You can see a range of color for Darjeeling depending on the wither vs the oxidation. A hard wither followed by a shorter oxidation gives a greener color.
    A softer wither followed by a longer oxidation gives a darker color. Usually, Darjeelings are partially oxidized.

    3) With 1st flush Darjeelings it is common to see a hard wither and a result that has enhanced floral notes with a harder edge. These teas can be finicky on their steeping times and astringency can be an issue if you go over. I usually go about 2-3 minutes.

    With 2nd flush Darjeelings, you will see deeper oxidations and a result that has deeper, softer fruit flavors. The classic flavor is a muscatel. I usually go about 3-5 minutes.

    4) I have tried brewing Darjeelings gongfu style a couple times, but missed the big flavors and balance. I think they are better western style. Also, I have enough other teas that demand to be brewed gong fu, that it is nice to have something that I can just drink when I don’t feel like playing with my tea.

    Good Darjeelings are solid for 2 infusions Western style and sometimes 3. I use water that is just off of a boil for both and increase the time by a minute.

    5) I wouldn’t recommend that you brew Darjeeling for iced tea (or any good tea for that matter). Our taste experience is tied into smell and icing is going to reduce the aromatics. If you must chill your tea, don’t over brew to compensate, don’t add ice and don’t add sugar. Holding the chilled tea in your mouth to warm it up can help with the flavor, but with a nice warm tea you are already there.

    Cheers, Charles

    If you are going to brew it hard and dump in the sugar,

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