On Sunday, January 3, I signed onto Facebook and read the following post from Thunderbolt Tea:
“It’s time we announced our winner of the monthly lucky draw. Congratulations Erika Cilengir. Your teas will be shipped as soon as possible. Happy New Year and enjoy the teas!!”
In mid-December, one of my tea friends on Facebook had suggested I become a fan of Thunderbolt Tea, a tea company based in Darjeeling, India that, quite understandably, specializes in the tea of that region. Being partial to Darjeelings, I had taken her advice.
So, thanks to my tea friend – as well as a bit of kismet and good karma – I had won some tea! After a few email exchanges with Benoy Thapa, Thunderbolt Tea’s founder, I was told that the tea had begun its journey from India to California. I figured it would probably be weeks before I received it. But just 12 days later, a package was waiting for me when I arrived home from work. It was filled with generous supplies of three of Thunderbolt’s teas:
1. Autumn Flush – Arya Clonal Exclusive ‘09
2. Second Flush – Risheehat Clonal Flowery ‘09
3. Autumn Flush – Arya Pearl ‘09
The first – the Arya Clonal Exclusive ’09 – is an organic black tea, both nutty and astringent and reminiscent of some oolongs I have tasted. I like to drink it straight – no sweeteners, milk, or other additives. Very refreshing. Although I have not tried it iced, I can imagine it would do well as an iced tea.
The second – the Risheehat Clonal Flowery ’09 – is also an organic black, but very different than the first. This one is my favorite and hands down one of the best blacks I have ever tasted. It is naturally sweet, but I still like to add a shot of Agave syrup to enhance its sweetness. In my mind, it is the perfect breakfast tea.
The third – the Arya Pearl ’09 – is an organic white tea, with bright green leaves that look as though they had just been plucked. Grassy, clean, and non-astringent, the Arya Pearl is a real surprise. I don’t normally associate whites with Darjeeling, but this one delivers!
One day, I will travel to Darjeeling and experience the teas of the region first hand, but, in the meantime, my wonderful tea gift from Thunderbolt Tea has allowed me to have my own tea adventure from the comfort of my home.