Castleton Special Summer Muscatel Black Tea


Castleton's muscatel is the one we look forward to every year for this is the' muscatel that inspired all others. This year we are being treated to a well-made, high-fired muscatel with an exceptionally well-balanced flavor profile. It is not too tart nor too astringent, but brisk enough to brighten up the palate. It makes a smooth and luscious cup that's perfect for all hours of the day.

the experience



Dominant note of burnt wood, accompanied by hints of fresh greens and melon.




The liquor starts on a clean, crisp note. The middle is dominated by the flavors of high-fired leaves and burnt wood, although these notes are restrained and feel unimposing. Notes of chocolate emerge at the back and come through in the aftertaste along with a soft note of melon rind.


Semi-hard cheeses, stone fruit, pancake, vanilla muffin, cucumber sandwich

dry leaf


Sweet; marked by notes of chocolate and toasted nuts


Medium-sized, tightly-rolled, black leaves; some with tips, mixed with few greenish-brown flakes



Vegetal and woody


Coppery with olive green hues

steeping notes

cold filtered O2 Rich Water


Tea Leaves



6 fl oz

185-194 oF

2.0 tsp / 2.5 g

4 mins

Recommended number of steeps - one



Drink Plain



Jun 02, 2016

32 Reviews


  • Great Aroma 22
  • Unique Flavor Profile 21
  • High Quality 20
  • Smooth Body 15
  • Freshness 12


  • Bitter if Over-Steeped 4
  • Weak 3
  • No Flavor 0
  • Strong 0

Best Served

  • Anytime 17
  • Morning 8
  • Afternoon 6
  • Evening 3
  • Dessert Tea 1


Jan. 23, 2017


Likes : Great Aroma, Smooth Body.

Dislikes : Bitter if Over-Steeped.

Best Served : Morning.

A superb tea - grows on you. Brew it well and the aroma itself fills the room. Its flavour lingers and the body is smooth as silk.


Aug. 24, 2016


Likes : Great Aroma, Smooth Body, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

I have been drinking this tea every day for the last 3 months and love it - the aroma you get as you steep the tea is wonderful and so it the smooth, balanced taste with a certain amount of body. I only wish it were organic.

Scott Strizic

April 4, 2016

Another Subtle Muscatel that is good anytime!

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality.

Best Served : Anytime, Morning, Afternoon, Evening.

Lighter in aroma than other Muscatels, but you can still get nuances of the (very ripe) Cantaloupe but less of the cherry as suggested on the label. The Palate is subtle, but with noticeable round tannins that linger throughout the very subtle tastes of more ripe cantaloupe and very very subtle cherry. Very Pleasant. 2nd Steeping is ok, but looses a lot of the flavors that balance this tea. If you are going to do a 2nd steeping increase steep time at least another 2-3 minutes.


Feb. 14, 2016

Excellent ! Splendid ! Wonderful!

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Unique Flavor Profile.

No wonder this is called the "champagne" among teas Reviewed as part of theTeabox subscription program.


Jan. 11, 2016


Likes : Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

I enjoyed my sample of this tea. It was not overly strong and had no bitter taste. A favorite for sure


Nov. 28, 2015

pleasently suprised

Likes : Unique Flavor Profile.

Dislikes : Weak.

Best Served : Anytime.

I didn't think i would like this one, because I don't like cherry or cantaloupe. But I loved it.


Nov. 19, 2015

Delicious and Fruity

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

I was very happy with this tea. The leaves had a wonderful, fruity smell and the tea itself didn't disappoint. It had a nice taste and aroma of cantaloupe and cherries. I limit my caffeine and sometimes I'm not that interest in strong flavors in the morning, so this is currently my breakfast tea. It's delicious and goes wonderfully with a sweeter breakfast (I generally eat toast with marmalade or sweetened oatmeal). It has a lighter flavor that's much more compatible with a cranky stomach than coffee or a breakfast-type tea.


Nov. 15, 2015

A unique experience

Likes : Unique Flavor Profile.

1. The most amber coloured leaves, pretty oxidized I must say. 2. Steeped to a very Iron-ish brew, an interesting cup. It start sweet (Cantaloupe) then the tang kicks in (Cherry) and tones down to a mildly bitter after taste, which is an amazing piece well-played. 3. A great morning starter, wakes you up with the zing, energising and at the same time preparing your body for he day ahead. Reviewed as part of the Teabox subscription program.


Nov. 10, 2015


Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

A truly excellent tea. Fragrant, delicate, complex, well balanced, very smooth and slightly sweet. A joy to drink!


Oct. 31, 2015

Cherry Black

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime, Morning, Afternoon.

Rich smell. Reminds me of a lake for some reason - woody and dark. I definitely get the cherry flavor. Reminds me of cherry wood too. Very interesting.

Alexandra Kimmel

Oct. 25, 2015

Fruity and gentle

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime, Afternoon.

This tea is fruity without excess astringency. It's taste is gentle and rounded. You can enjoy it any time of the day because it is not too strong. Very good choice for a lazy weekend morning or a long evening, when you can take your time and enjoy.

Zhi Xian

Sept. 29, 2015

A medium bodied, fragrant cup

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Unique Flavor Profile.

The dried leaves gave off a strong, pleasing fragrance and were good whole leaves. The tea was between medium to full bodied and had a slight astringency which complemented the flavour of the tea.


Aug. 20, 2015

Дорогой чёрный чай

Likes : Great Aroma.

интересный вкус и аромат, даже не знаю, что можно сказать, понравился, хороший по настоящему чёрный


Aug. 17, 2015

Good I guess

Likes : Great Aroma.

Dislikes : Weak.

I liked this tea but felt that it wasn't anything fantastic or overly amazing


Aug. 11, 2015

Super Sample

Likes : High Quality.

Best Served : Morning.

Very nice sample, again following the steep guidelines to a ‘tea’, I used a non descriptive teapot 6oz and took my time brewing, being mostly a small gaiwan gongfu kind of guy it really is hard for me to wait the requisite 5 minutes but I persevered. The wait is worth it, dark coppery liquor with wet leave whiffs of grahams of muscatel is what brings this to fame and the emergence of different fruit notes that are all in like a line up, musk melon, peach, and dried apricot. There is a bit of sweet and tannin. The tannin had me add 1/2 tsp of dark muscovado just to give it the ‘tea and peach pie’ all in one flavor. Teabox is showing its best teas in its free samples and why not, I would reach out to this tea again for sure.


Aug. 4, 2015

Deeply flavorful

Likes : Great Aroma, Unique Flavor Profile.

Smells and looks like autumn leaves. Full bodied and rich, lots of complexity unfolding with each sip.


July 28, 2015

Truly elegant

Likes : High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

A lot to like here, tremendous dimension to the flavors and an unusual background softness or sweetness. Truly elegant.

George Stephen Zakhia

June 28, 2015

An excellent summer flush

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

One of the best summer teas, actually the only summer tea I buy is Darjeeling and Castleton is the best if you are looking for a refreshing summer brew, the Muscatel flavors are present a must buy. Best value for money.


May 7, 2015

a rich summer tea

Likes : Great Aroma, Smooth Body.

Best Served : Morning.

This is a strong brew that is very pleasant with no bitterness. You can drink this plain or with a little milk. A very fine tea at a good price. The only fault is it is not at complex as the more expensive teas. This is an excellent every day tea.


April 29, 2015

Best Tasting Darjeeling Ever

Likes : Great Aroma, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

I've tried a number of Darjeelings, but this one has been my all-time favorite. Rich and full-flavored, this is an afternoon tea that could also kick-start your morning.

George Stephen Zakhia

April 28, 2015

MUSCATEL? still searching for you

Likes : Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality.

Best Served : Morning, Afternoon.

Don,t get me wrong this is an excellent tea, one of the best of the summer flushes (I am more of a spring flush guy) with a great fruit taste but I didn't get the Muscatel hit I was looking for, still a great tea on its own and a delight to drink would be buying some when summer comes, this with the Giddapahar China (Spring) Black are my all time favorite Indian blacks.


April 21, 2015

A Great breakfast tea

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Dislikes : Bitter if Over-Steeped.

Best Served : Morning.

The liquid is dark amber in color. This tea has a strong, somewhat fruity taste to it. When brewing take care not to over-steep, because the tea can become somewhat bitter. Overall a wonderul Darjeeling, a great way to start the day.

Martin Eger

Feb. 7, 2015

Solid, but slightly subdued muscatel flavour

Likes : Freshness, High Quality.

Dislikes : Weak.

Best Served : Afternoon.

2014 Darjeeling first and second flush teas teas, with only a few exceptions, were not as bold/pungent as some past vintages. That being said, this is still a classic example of a second flush darjeeling (muscatel style), only not as spectacular as it usually is from this estate.


Jan. 31, 2015

Absolutely delicious!

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

A perfect cup for the afternoon.

Chul Gyun

Dec. 21, 2014

jem of Castleton 2014 crop

Likes : Great Aroma.

Best Served : Evening.

Softly diminishing astringency, slightly muscatel-like aroma... Steeping about 3'30'' , full-body and flowery scent, mild texture.. Better than 1st-flush of 2014.


Nov. 9, 2014

Wonderful cuppa

Likes : Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime, Evening, Dessert Tea.

The 2014 2nd flush Castleton has to be my favourite cup of tea. A smooth, deep muscatel flavour with a long sweet finish,and no excessive astringency. As with most DJs, it's even better lukewarm or cold: the floral characters really develop extra brightness! Let's see if the current vintage is still good, despite a difficult growing season. I'm ordering extra for a friend.


Oct. 8, 2014

The classic Darjeeling.

Likes : Smooth Body, High Quality.

Best Served : Anytime.

Castleton teas are one of the main symbols of indian teas and they are always a guarantee of quality. This second flush is no exception, with full body and little astringency. While I have tasted better Castleton second flushes, the tea in question remains a great example of what you want to find in a Darjeeling tea.


Sept. 10, 2014

Sets the standard for muscatel

Likes : Smooth Body, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Morning.

I usually buy Castleton teas "blindfolded" as they are always a safe choice... Once again, I am not disappointed although I was more impressed with last year's tea. Blame it on this year's weather conditions, which have been particularly harsh it appears. Regardless, this particular tea is great tasting, with a very round mouthfeel and fruity/malty flavours.

John Kramer

Sept. 6, 2014

Very Grapey!

Likes : Freshness, Great Aroma, Smooth Body, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

The tea has strong grapelike flavors. This is almost certainly the 'muscatel' taste that is so coveted in Darjeelings. In fact, those grapey notes are in fact so strong it makes me question whether I have ever really tasted even hints of muscatel in other Darjeelings. There is almost zero astringency. This tea should be steeped at either four or five minutes. I tried three minutes initially, and ended up with a hint of dirt in the taste that went away at longer times. At four minutes you get a smoother cup, at five one that is tarter and more flavorful. The latter wasn't bitter at all, tarter like cranberry jam. It is great both hot and cold.


Aug. 27, 2014

Loved the 2013, not a huge fan of 2014

Likes : High Quality.

Dislikes : Bitter if Over-Steeped.

Best Served : Afternoon.

I am a big fan of the 2013 Castleton 2nd flush and was looking forward to trying it again this year. Castleton remains a great tea garden, but I was disappointed because of the comparison (yes, I tasted them side-by-side). The 2014 has a typical muscatel flavor but is a bit too astringent and watery, even when following the recommended steeping instructions. It mellows a little when cool, but I will likely wait until 2015 to try Castleton garden again.


June 20, 2014

A wonderful tea for the entire day!

Likes : High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Best Served : Anytime.

The 2013 Castleton Muscatel has a wonderful flavour. The muscatel taste lingers for a long time. I wish it had a bit more aroma. It is slightly expensive; however great quality ensures that only a small quantity is necessary to prepare a cup. While I love it as an afternoon tea, it also works very well as a morning tea with a bit of milk and sugar.

Zhi Xian

March 28, 2014

Extraordinary Flavour

Likes : Great Aroma, High Quality, Unique Flavor Profile.

Dislikes : Bitter if Over-Steeped.

Best Served : Anytime.

I'll start off with a general description of the tea. The castleton muscatel has a dark amber-bronze hue and a pronounced flavour. It is a full-bodied (or medium to full bodied) and has a mild to strong astringency. When first brewed, it gives of a sweet scent. I personally give the Tea a full 5/5 based solely on its flavour. It has a solid, woody, and refined flavour which is highly satisfying. However, it would be perfect if the taste could be crisper so as to make the tea even more refreshing.