Review of Arya Ruby Darjeeling Black Tea First Flush

8 of 104 of 52 of 567 of 100

One of the most atypical Darjeeling teas, tasting more to me like a white tea than a black, I found this was interesting, but not for me. I was disappointed in it for many of the same reasons I tend not to like silver needle white tea.

I've tried this same tea from a different seller, Happy Earth Tea, the 2014 harvest as well. I don't know if it's a different grade, or different harvest, or if the timing has impacted the flavor (the first one I tried in may, this one is February of the next year), but this tea was a little different from how I remember it. In particular, this batch has less of the nutty tones.

The dry leaf has a beautiful and unique fragrance of honeysuckle, with hints of smoke and a suggestion of dry summer earth.

When water hits the leaves, an herbaceous pungency emerges, which evolves into vegetal and caramel notes. But upon drinking, it tastes much more like a white tea, even hinting at melon notes. The light brown color of the cup is deceptive, suggesting warmth, but the tea tastes more cooling to dust or stone.

The second cup had even more dusty notes, reminiscent of ripened Pu-erh, but the overall character was still more like a white tea.

I can sense the skill that went into producing this remarkable tea, but it isn't really my cup of tea.

Too thin and mild-flavored. I tried brewing more strongly, but this produced strange results; the cup was still not flavorful enough for me. I also felt a little strange after drinking it, in a way that I can't describe but wasn't entirely pleasant.

I'll leave this one to others...I can see some people really liking this tea, but it just didn't do it for me.

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