Giddapahar Spring Gold 1st Flush 2017 Darjeeling Tea from Lochan Tea

As I prepared to write this post, I was reminded that it has been nearly five years since I began reviewing teas. That reminder came when I found that the last time I reviewed a tea from the Giddapahar Estate was back in 2013. It’s amazing to look back, read that review, and notice how my interpretation of smells and tastes have changed, and how the same product from the same estate has evolved.

The Giddapahar Tea Estate is located in the Kurseong Valley of West Bengal, India. The 95 hectares of tea gardens are situated at an altitude ranging from 4,500 to 5,200 feet above sea level, produce an average of 30,000 kilograms of tea per year, and consist primarily of traditional China and clonal tea bushes. The name Giddapahar translated into English means “Eagles Cliff”.

This sample of Giddapahar Spring Gold 1st Flush 2017 was provided by Lochan Tea. Many thanks to the Lochan family for their generosity in sending these samples.

Let’s get to the review…

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Giddapahar Spring Gold 1st Flush 2017 Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have the typical Darjeeling 1st flush variance in color, ranging from pale green to dark brown. The leaves are all medium to large fragments, with few bare stems, and some silver tips in the mix. The leaves have the standard rolled appearance. The aroma has scents of brown sugar, toasted oats, wild flowers, honey, and light cinnamon. It is a very sweet, enticing aroma.

Dry leaves were infused in 190°F water for 3:00 minutes.

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Giddapahar Spring Gold 1st Flush 2017 Liquid

The tea liquid had a bright, pale yellow, honey-like color. The aroma had scents of roses, toasted oats, wild blowers, brown sugar, and light honey. The body was medium, with a silky, mellow texture that seemed to coat the tongue and throat as it passed. The taste had notes of roses, wild flowers, and lighter notes of toasted oats, honey, and brown sugar. The floral character dominated the taste, and the aftertaste maintained a lingering, dominantly floral character. The tea had a noticeable and tangible uplifting energy, which is something that I truly appreciate in a good quality Darjeeling 1st flush tea.

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Giddapahar Spring Gold 1st Flush 2017 Wet Leaves

The wet leaves have a fresh, pale green color, with spots of light brown. The leaves are medium to large fragments, with few whole leaves and buds. The leaves have a smooth, delicate feel. The aroma has scents of roses, wild flowers, lighter scents of honey, and what I would describe as black licorice, which was very interesting. I had to keep resetting my sense of smell to make sure that I was properly smelling the black licorice, but that is my conclusion.

In my opinion, Giddapahar Tea Estate continues to produce high quality Darjeeling style teas with an affordable price tag. The classic Darjeeling 1st Flush characters are dominant (floral and lightly sweet), and the uplifting energy is definitely there. The black licorice scent on the wet leaves was very nice, and I wish I had noticed it in the aroma or taste of the liquid itself. Overall, this was an excellent 1st Flush tea!

You can purchase the Giddapahar Spring Gold 1st Flush 2017 Darjeeling Tea from Lochan Tea at the price of USD $9.00 for 50 grams of tea.

Thank you for taking your time to read my review of the Giddapahar Spring Gold 1st Flush 2017 Darjeeling Tea!

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TGFOP1 Second Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea from Panitola Tea Estate

Today’s review will focus on the TGFOP1 Second Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea from Panitola Tea Estate. This sample was provided by Lochan Tea.

The Panitola Tea Estate is located in the Tinsukia district, in the South Bank of the Assam region in northeast India. Panitola consists of about 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of land under tea cultivation. Panitola produces both CTC grades and orthodox grades of black tea. This tea estate developed a well known and popular clone, the P-126A, which is now used in many Assam tea estates where orthodox teas are produced. The N-436 clone is also grown on the estate. Panitola is constantly researching methods to increase the sustainability of the tea garden by using more organic methods of pest and insect control. However, it is not considered an organic garden quite yet. The Panitola Tea Estate has the HACCP, ETP (Ethical Tea Partnership), and ISO 22000:2005 certifications.

The sample packet has been opened, and a surprisingly floral scent is immediately detected. Let the journey begin…

Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Dry Leaves
Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a uniform charcoal gray to black color, with some golden tips and reddish-brown stems. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments, including bud fragments, and some bare stems. The leaves are machine rolled, and have a fairly uniform size and shape. The smell has scents of wild flowers, dark chocolate, ripe grapes, light hay, and light toasted seeds.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 205°F (96°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 to 4:00 minutes. Expect two infusions out of the same serving of leaves, and expect the second infusion to be lighter than the first, but still worth drinking. Add 1:00 minute to the second infusion steep time. A very light, yet refreshing, third infusion can be prepared.

Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Liquor
Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Liquor

The first infusion produced a liquor with a deep red color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of wild flowers, hibiscus, grape, raw cacao, light hay, and light wood. The body is full, with a rich, tongue coating texture. The taste has notes of ripe red grapes, wild flowers, hibiscus, wood, malt, and a touch of citrus. There is a strong, but not overwhelming, astringency, and a pleasantly brisk character. The aftertaste is sweet and somewhat floral, with a respectable lingering essence.

Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Infused Leaves
Panitola TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform copper-brown color. All leaves are small to medium sized fragments, with some bud fragments and bare stems in the mix. The leaves have a fairly uniform size and shape. The smell has scents of wood, wild flowers, grapes, toasted seeds, and forest floor.

The Panitola TGFOP1 Second Flush 2014 Black Tea was more floral in aroma and taste than I expected. This tea definitely had a tart, citrusy, and floral character, which I described as hibiscus. I did not feel the usual dominant malt qualities that other Assam teas have, and in this particular case, that is not a negative observation. This black tea had a very nice blend of body, texture, and taste, as it was rich but not overpowering. There is no need for milk, cream, or other additives, but this tea could certainly take such additives with positive outcomes.

Thank you to the Lochan family at Lochan Tea for providing this sample of Panitola TGFOP1 Second Flush 2014 Black Tea. Cheers!

Margaret’s Hope FTGFOP1 HS 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea from Lochan Tea

Today’s review is taking me back to my favorite tea estate in the Darjeeling district of India, the Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate, located in the Kurseong North Valley. This sample of FTGFOP1 HS 2nd Flush 2014 was provided by Lochan Tea. I have covered the basic details of Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate in several previous posts, so I will spare you all the redundancy of repeating those details here.

The sample packet has been opened, and a dominantly floral and woody smell is escaping the packet. Let the journey begin…

Margaret's Hope FTGFOP1 HS 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Dry Leaves
Margaret’s Hope FTGFOP1 HS 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves range in color from yellowish-green to reddish-brown to black. There are some light brown, small and bare stems in the mix, as well as a few silver bud fragments. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments, and are machine rolled. There is some inconsistency with the size and shape of the leaves. The leaves are very dry, and crack easily into coarse crumbs. The smell has scents of wood, toasted seeds, dried grapes, roses, caramel, honey, and hay.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 205°F (96°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 to 4:00 minutes. Expect two infusions out of the same serving of leaves, and expect the second infusion to be significantly lighter than the first, but still worth drinking. Add 1:00 minute to the second infusion steep time.

Margaret's Hope FTGFOP1 HS 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Infusion
Margaret’s Hope FTGFOP1 HS 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a warm golden orange color, clear and transparent. The aroma consists of scents of roses, geraniums, grapes, honey, toasted seeds, caramel, and light hay. The body is medium, with a gentle and velvety texture. There is a mild astringency. The taste is dominantly floral, with notes of roses, geraniums, grapes, honey, toasted grains, hay, caramel, light wood, and light spice. The liquor leaves a honey like coating on the tongue. The aftertaste carries the grape and floral notes, and a lingering sweet essence is left on the breath.

Margaret's Hope FTGFOP1 HS 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Infused Leaves
Margaret’s Hope FTGFOP1 HS 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves range in color from pale forest green to copper to purplish-brown. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments, and there some small bare stems and bud fragments in the mix. Stems display a two leaf and bud pluck. The leaves have a soft, delicate texture. The smell has scents of wood, roses, geraniums, grapes, hay, and honey.

The FTGFOP1 HS 2nd Flush 2014 Tea from Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate did not disappoint. With a dominantly floral aroma and taste, this tea gave the tongue and olfactory glands a stroll through a field of summer flowers, a welcome detour from the 20°F temperatures awaiting outside my office. The floral character is complimented very nicely by the sweet and toasty tones. The texture and honey-like coating on the tongue completes an overall phenomenal experience, as I have come to expect from the teas from Margaret’s Hope.

Thank you to the Lochan family at Lochan Tea for providing this sample. Cheers!

Jungpana FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush 2014 Organic Darjeeling Tea from Lochan Tea

Today’s review will focus on the FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush 2014 Organic Darjeeling Tea from the Jungpana Tea Estate, located in the Kurseong South Valley of the Darjeeling region of India. This sample was provided by Lochan Tea.

There is plenty of good information on the homepage of Jungpana Tea Estate, but it was the information about the Mahalderam Tea Estate, which is the high altitude division of Jungpana, that really caught my attention. As if altitudes of over 6,000 feet is not enough to please a tea enthusiast, Mahalderam and Jungpana have developed an interesting technique to getting the fresh leaves from the Mahalderam Estate to the Jungpana factory. The Mahalderam Estate is a three hour journey by road from the Jungpana factory. Needless to say that the fresh picked tea leaves from Mahalderam would lose some freshness and quality during that three hour ride. Considering the high quality of the leaves growing at such high altitudes, it is definitely a sad thought that the leaves would lose some quality before processing could even begin. The solution to this problem is a cost efficient, simple, and practical zip line! This zip line starts in the Mahalderam Estate, at an altitude of 6,000 feet, and descends 3,000 feet down the hillside where the zip line ends near the Jungpana factory. The leaves are now transported from Mahalderam to Jungpana in six minutes! Cheers to the person who came up with that plan.

The sample packet has been opened, and the highly attractive scent that I have come to expect from Jungpana teas is easily recognizable. Let the journey begin…

Jungpana FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush Organic Darjeeling Tea Dry Leaves
Jungpana FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush 2014 Organic Darjeeling Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a fairly uniform dark reddish brown to dark brown color, with some silver bud fragments. The leaves and buds are all medium sized fragments. There are some bare stems in the mix. The leaves are machine rolled, and have a fairly consistent size and shape. The leaves are quite dry, and crack easily into coarse crumbs. The smell has scents of roses, dried grapes, dark cocoa, sweet wood, honey, and a light spice.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 205°F (96°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 to 4:00 minutes. Expect two infusions out of the same serving of leaves, and expect the second infusion to be significantly lighter than the first, but still worth drinking. Add 1:00 minute to the second infusion steep time.

Jungpana FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush Organic Darjeeling Tea Infusion
Jungpana FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush 2014 Organic Darjeeling Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a beautiful reddish-orange color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of roses, grapes, honey, caramel, fresh cut wood, cinnamon, cardamom, and a touch of stewed apricot. The body is medium-full, with a brisk character, and a lively and clean mouth feel. The taste has notes of roses, grapes, honey, cinnamon, stewed apricot, caramel, fresh cut wood, and black pepper. The spicy and floral notes are carried into the aftertaste, and a sweet, slightly floral essence is left on the breath.

Jungpana FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush Organic Darjeeling Tea Infused Leaves
Jungpana FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush 2014 Organic Darjeeling Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a fairly uniform greenish-brown to light copper brown color. The leaves and buds are all medium sized fragments. The leaves are a fairly uniform shape and size, and certainly come from a Chinese clonal tea bush. The leaves have a soft, smooth, delicate texture. The smell carries scents of roses, grapes, cardamom, honey, and fresh cut wood.

I am quite impressed by the number of flavor notes that could be identified in the FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush 2014 Organic Darjeeling Tea from the Jungpana Tea Estate. In addition to the aroma and flavors, the color of the liquor was very inviting, and the liquor had a brisk character that gave a spark of energy and enthusiasm from the first sip. The flavor had a great balance of sweet, floral, and spicy notes. This tea definitely lives up to the high quality experience that I have come to expect from the Jungpana Tea Estate. The fact that the estate is organic simply makes this tea, and others from Jungpana, all the more attractive.

Thank you again to the Lochan family at Lochan Tea for providing this sample of Jungpana FTGFOP1 Clonal 2nd Flush 2014 Organic Darjeeling Tea! Cheers!

Doomni TGFOP1 2nd Flush Assam Black Tea from Lochan Tea

Although the highly respected Lochan family seems to focus mainly on the Darjeeling region of India, and of course Bihar, where their own tea estate resides, they certainly do know the estates of the Assam region quite well also. In the typical Lochan Tea sample package, there is usually one or two Assam teas, which I am always excited to try, since I consider my experience with Assam teas to be limited. Although recently, thanks to Heritage Tea Assam, I have been gaining some much needed experience in learning more about the teas of Assam.

Doomni Tea Estate is a very short distance from the India-Bhutan border, near the Brahmaputra River Valley. This estate is rather well known for producing classic Assam style black teas.

The sample packet has been opened, and the aroma escaping the packet is truly incredible! Let the journey begin…

Doomni TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea Dry Leaves
Doomni TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a uniform dark brown to black color, with some golden tips in the mix. The leaves are small to medium sized fragments. The leaves are rolled. There are a few small bare stems in the mix. The aroma has scents of dried raisins, black licorice, honey, and light daisies.

Three grams of leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home brewing is to use three grams for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 205°F (96°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 minutes. You should be able to get two quality infusions out of the same serving of leaves. Add a minute of steep time to the second infusion.

Doomni TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea Liquor
Doomni TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea Liquor

The first infusion produced a liquor with a deep orange-red color, clear and transparent. The aroma is impressive, with scents of malt, raisin, black licorice, honey, and daisies. The body is full, with a thick texture that coats the tongue and throat like honey. The taste is quite complex, with notes of raisin, malt, black licorice, and light daisies. The aftertaste is sweet and malty, and s lingering sweetness combines nicely with the classic astringency of Assam black tea.

Doomni TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea Infused Leaves
Doomni TGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform light copper-brown color. All leaves are small to medium fragments. There are a few small bare stems in the mix, as well as some nice tips. The aroma has scents of malt, raisin, and black licorice.

The Doomni TGFOP1 Assam Black Tea was quite impressive in all aspects. The aroma from the dry leaf through the liquor and infused leaf was incredibly fruity and sweet, with a nice spice compliment. The taste was a very nice combination of sweet and astringency. The texture of the liquor took absolutely zero effort to describe, as it felt like a spoonful of honey was placed in my mouth. It coated the throat and tongue like no tea that I have had recently. Not too strong to overwhelm or require the addition of milk, but certainly tasteful and powerful enough to know this is an Assam tea. This tea was a pleasure from beginning to end. There is no wonder in my mind as to why Doomni Tea Estate is as well known as it is.

Thanks to the Lochan family and Lochan Tea for providing another excellent sample from the Assam region of India. Cheers!

Silver Needle 2nd Flush 2014 White Tea from Doke Tea Estate

I have reviewed maybe four of the high quality teas being produced at the Doke Tea Estate, but I must say that I was very happy to find a sample of their Silver Needle white tea in the most recent package of samples from Lochan Tea. Since deciding to import some fairly expensive silver tips white tea from Sri Lanka, I am always interested to try other silver needle products for comparison purposes. Thankfully, I am still happy with the silver tips from Sri Lanka, even though the price tag is about 150% some other good silver needle products from India, Nepal, and Malawi. However, I have much respect for the products coming from the Doke Tea Estate, as well as the Lochan family in general, and I am excited to see how their Silver Needle 2nd Flush 2014 White Tea compares to the others.

The Doke Tea Estate is located in Bihar, India, and is situated southwest of the Darjeeling region, and on the south-east border of Nepal. Please click here to see the Doke Tea Estate website. You may also find the Lochan Tea website by clicking here.

The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet grape and hay fragrance is instantly detected. Let the journey begin…

Doke Silver Needle 2nd Flush 2014 White Tea Dry Leaves
Doke Silver Needle 2nd Flush 2014 White Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a uniform light pale yellow color, and are covered in fine silver hairs. A few of the leaves have developed a brownish color. The pluck is one fine leaf and unopened bud. The buds are long and fairly slender. The leaves have a soft, downy-like texture. There are some leaf fragments, and no bare stems in the mix. The aroma has scents of sweet hay and light grape, giving it a distinct second flush character.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My at home steeping suggestions are to use three grams of dry leaves for each six ounces (180 ml) of water to be used. Heat the water to 175°F to 185°F (80°C to 85°C). Infuse the leaves for 3:00 to 4:00 minutes. Leaves may be reused two or more times.

Doke Silver Needle 2nd Flush 2014 White Tea Infusion
Doke Silver Needle 2nd Flush 2014 White Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a light honey-like color, light pale golden-yellow, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of grapes, sweet hay, light honey, and light flowers. The body is medium, with a round texture. The taste has notes of roses, grapes, and sweet hay. The aftertaste is a blend of roses and hay, and a similar essence lingers on the breath.

Doke Silver Needle 2nd Flush 2014 White Tea Infused Leaves
Doke Silver Needle 2nd Flush 2014 White Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform fresh light forest green color, with few leaves showing light brown mostly along the stems. The pluck is mostly one fine leaf enveloping the unopened bud, and a few have the second leaf. There are some leaf fragments, and no bare stems. The buds are long and slender, and have a smooth texture. The aroma is sweet and floral, with hints of grape, light rose, and light hay.

Of the silver needle white teas that I have had from India, I will say that this Silver Needle 2nd Flush 2014 White Tea from Doke Tea Estate holds one of the top two positions. The grape hints in the aroma and taste was different than any other silver needle white tea that I have had, and fits the second flush character that Darjeeling and nearby tea producing regions are known for. The Lochan family focuses on producing teas with a level of quality that are unmatched in India, and this Silver Needle White Tea upholds that reputation perfectly.

Thank you to the Lochan family for their dedication to producing very high quality teas, as well as their work in the tea communities of India and Nepal, and of course for providing these samples! Cheers!

Arya Ruby 1st Flush 2013 Darjeeling from Lochan Tea Limited

On October 10th of 2013, my journey through the world of tea tasting delivered me to the Arya Estate, in the Darjeeling area of India. This sample was provided by Lochan Tea Limited. For more information on Lochan Tea Limited, please click here.

According to the Lochan Tea website, the Arya Estate has an altitude that ranges from 900 meters (2,700 feet) to 1,820 meters (5,460 feet) above sea level. Since I began my goal of starting a tea wholesale/retail business, I have tried quite a few Darjeeling teas. Up until recently, I always wondered what was different in the processing of Darjeeling teas that allowed them to be so colorful, yet still be considered a “black” tea. The difference, as I now know, is in the process used to wither the leaves. In the Darjeeling area, they use what is called a “very hard wither” prior to the oxidation process. This “very hard wither” causes the tea leaves to lose over 50% of the moisture content, in contrast to the black teas of Assam and Sri Lanka, where the “medium wither” causes the leaves to lose about 35% of the moisture content. Once the leaves are rolled, crushed, or otherwise prepared for oxidation to begin, there is less moisture in the leaves, thus less substance for oxygen to interact with during oxidation. This is the main difference in the processing of Darjeeling black teas which makes it appear so much differently than the black teas of other regions.

The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet smell of dried fruits, caramel, and cocoa are filling my office. Let the journey begin…

Arya Ruby 1st Flush Dry
Arya Ruby 1st Flush Dry

The dry leaves have the typical wide array of colors characteristic of Darjeeling black teas, ranging from green to dark brown, and every color in between, with an abundance of silver tips. The silver tips have a downy like fuzz covering them. The leaves are all fragments, and there is a moderate amount of crumbs. Considering that this is a sample packet, however, some crumbs are to be expected. There are a few bare stems as well. The leaves have a variety of sizes, and most appear lightly twisted and curled. The aroma is very sweet, with scents of dried fruit, caramel, and cocoa.

The standard method of preparation was used for this sampling. Eighteen ounces (550 ml) of purified spring water were heated to 195°F (90°C). Nine grams of dry tea were placed in a cast-iron tetsubin. The tea was infused for 2 minutes.

Arya Ruby 1st Flush 1st Infusion
Arya Ruby 1st Flush 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor that was a bright orange-red in color, clear and transparent. There was a moderate amount of particles (tea dust). The aroma was floral and spicy (nutmeg). The body is medium to full, with a mouth filling feel. The taste is floral (jasmine/hyacinth?) and spicy (nutmeg). The finish is sweet, with notes of caramel in the aftertaste.

Arya Ruby 1st Flush 2nd Infusion
Arya Ruby 1st Flush 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a considerably lighter colored brew, leaning more to the orange color. The aroma remains floral and spicy, but lighter. The body is also lighter. The taste remains mostly floral (jasmine), and spicy (nutmeg). The finish is less sweet, and more floral. I am not certain that the third infusion will have an acceptable taste.

Arya Ruby 1st Flush 3rd Infusion
Arya Ruby 1st Flush 3rd Infusion

The third infusion produced a considerably lighter colored liquor than the second infusion, leaning more to the yellow color with orange tint. The aroma is lighter, but remains floral and spicy. The body and taste are both lighter. The taste is lightly floral and spicy. The aftertaste is very light and floral. Although significantly lighter, I finished the pot. I am not sure if all tea drinkers would find this third infusion to be acceptable, but it got me through the last hour of work.

Arya Ruby 1st Flush Infused Leaves
Arya Ruby 1st Flush Infused Leaves

The infused leaves of this Darjeeling tea range in color from a dull light green to a reddish brown. There is little consistency in the size or shape of the leaves. There are some almost fully intact leaves, but the majority are fragments of various sizes. The smell is floral, and a little sweet. The leaves have the shape and size of the typical Chinese tea bush, which is the common type of tea that thrives in the Darjeeling area.

This Arya Ruby 1st Flush Darjeeling black tea was high quality and unique. The smell of the dry leaves was very enticing. The bright color, floral aroma, and spicy taste of the tea were very enjoyable, and separated it from other Darjeelings that I have had. The aftertaste of caramel was also different from other Darjeelings that many times have more of a honey taste. This tea was a nice “welcome back” to the world of Darjeelings, as I have spent the past month or so focusing on teas from China and Taiwan. By the time I am finished with these samples, I will be very much reacquainted with the Darjeeling area, and I am looking forward to it. Thank you for the opportunity, Lochan family.