Help me select a Darjeeling sampler

Please.
Next year, I'm definitely buying from
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(They are way cheaper than other importers..).
Meanwhile, I need to buy some samplers to tide me over till spring, and get an idea about the various estates' quality ..
So far, I have located samplers from the following:
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($12.00) Darjeeling Castleton 2nd Flush - FTGFOP - 1 oz loose tea sample Darjeeling Mim 2nd Flush - TGFOP1 - 1 oz loose tea sample Darjeeling Soom 1st Flush TGFOP - 1 oz loose tea sample Darjeeling Soom Gunpowder - BPS - 1 oz loose tea sample Margaret's Hope 2nd Flush FTGFOP - Darjeeling - 1 oz loose tea sample
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($40) Muscatel Valley First Flush, Goomtee Estate Second Flush, Selimbong Estate Second Flush (doesn't say how much quantity)
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($12.50) Orange Valley FTGFOP-1 1st Flush (No. 102) - 1 oz Puttabong FTGFOP-1 1st Flush, (No. 105) - 1 oz Sungma SFTGFOP-1, 2nd Flush (No. 143) - 1 oz Margaret's Hope SFTGFOP-1 Autumnal (No.173) - 1 oz Poobong SFTGFOP1 Vintage (No. 148) - 1 oz
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SD46 ($24) Sungma Estate SFTGFOP1 (CH) First Flush (TD97), Arya Estate Organic Ruby Second Flush EX-5 (TD03), Puttabong Estate SFTGFOP1 Supreme First Flush (TD90), and Margaret's Hope Estate FTGFOP1 Muscatel Second Flush (TD35). (Doesn't say how much quantity)
Any suggestions on which one to go for? Thanks.
Reply to
Aloke Prasad
Aloke:
Namaste, I saw your selection and I will suggest you some estates name rather then a particular on-line vendor-
-Margaret's hope(good for 2nd and Autmnal flush) -Puttabong(any flush) -Goomte(1st flush is best but others are fine too) -Castleton (Vintage is best but others blended are fine too) -Last couple of years, maybe 2 or 3 Selimbong & Sungma are producing good Darjeeling. I don't know about this year production. I met this two estates official broker in Kolkata this year and they told me to buy their teas from western vendors rather then any Indian broker or vendors. That means their best stuffs are only for export.
How come you are missing Makaibari? This year, 1st flush vintage Makaibari was the best in the auction house. The best lot went to Germany and Japan.
Ripon Vienna,VA
Reply to
Ripon
Doesn't all this come down to what you like and what you consider "expensive?"
One thing to consider about Upton. They have the packaged samplers, as you describe, but they also will provide you with a smaller sample of any tea at a lower price (not per volume, but absolute). Upton's samplers come in 2 oz or so tins and if you like all the teas in the sampler, then Woo-Hoo! If you don't then you've purchased a bit more than you needed to really sample. But both the Upton (I love the Arya Ruby Organic as a reasonably-priced organic Darjeeling) and the Specialteas packaged samplers sound fine. I've tried almost all of those teas.
And Ripon is right, Makaibari teas are very nice and all organic.
Warren
Reply to
Warren C. Liebold
Only time and experience will tell if the "direct seller" (exporter?) from Darjeeling works out better than the importers. My logic was: Identify the good gardens and buy their product from closer to the source, eliminating the middlemen and their added costs. I don't want to quote prices here (people can compare for themselves).
It may not turn out well .. who knows.
At this time, I think I'll get the Upton sampler.
Reply to
Aloke Prasad
Save yourself some trouble. Just buy a tin of Harney and Sons' blend, "Darjeeling Black Tea." It's as good as any estate Darjeeling I have ever tried, and I have tried a lot. My search for a consistently delicious Darjeeling is over, thanks to H&S, to whom I am related only as a pleased customer.
Robert
Reply to
Robert Dunbar
[snip]
I'm with Ripon - Makaibari is IMHO the finest and most consistent estate in Darjeeling; I've never had a bad tea from them. Last year's DJ-86 second flush (Upton) was probably the best Darjeeling I've ever had. Gopaldhara also produces some delicious, idiosyncratic teas.
Regards, Dean
Reply to
DPM

Their print catalog says on p. 35 that "The amount of tea per tin averages about 35 grams, depending on leaf size, and will yield approximately 16 cups of tea." On the website, you'd have to know to refer to AT05 Silver Sampler Tin.
Reply to
Bluesea

I found the web site for Makaibari.
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- nothing much here, just lot of hyperbole
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- this is a mail order site run by the sister-in-law of the owner of Makaibari estate !! Good prices.
Reply to
Aloke Prasad

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