I received many tea bags in my latest tea swap and some were the same variety, so I thought I would do some comparisons. Today's pair is Darjeeling, one by Ahmad Teas, the other by Teekanne, a German company. Both were nicely wrapped in individual packets, both were a pretty standard teabag, both had directions to use boiling water and brew for 3 minutes. So I did.
The Ahmad Darjeeling, as with most teabags, had no real scent until it was brewing for a bit and then it smelled like biscuits or baked squash. When the three minutes were up I started sipping. The tea did taste like baked or roasted veggies. It also tasted a bit like toast. However, it also had a harsh, astringent side, which really over rode the other, more gentle flavors. They may have been gentle, but I didn't find them particularly like most Darjeelings.
Teekanne Tea's Darjeeling also smelled like something baked, once it was brewing, in this case, sugar cookies. It was a much darker amber. The taste was a real mix of wine, roasted veggies and some nuttiness, It was smooth going down and had a pleasant residual taste. By comparison, it wins hands down.
Tomorrow I am going to do and English Breakfast comparison. I find doing these, either with teabags or loose tea, really shows up the characteristics of particular teas and can help one decide which tea is really preferred.