- Arya Estate Background
- Arya Darjeeling Preparation
Arya Ruby first flush Darjeeling tea is a limited production tea. Last year’s first flush production only amounted to approximately 400 lbs—hence the exorbitant price. Most of the shops that were lucky enough to get some have already sold out. As in the world of wine, a product’s allure is only increased by its lack of availability!
The majority of first flush teas in Darjeeling tend to be on the green side. The fairly small leaf produces a light, clear, somewhat week cup with pronounced floral notes and a mild astringency that can be somewhat bitter, a characteristic that is much appreciated by first flush enthusiasts. Ruby, on the other hand, is most definitely a black tea. The chocolate brown leaves are significantly larger than those of other first flush Darjeeling teas and they possess a definite bloom. They are well rolled and twisted with a significant number of gold and silver tips. Overall, the superior processing is highly apparent. The aroma of the dry leaf is unusually rich and full, sweet and honey-like with chocolate and fruity, citrus overtones.
Arya Ruby always has some cup strength regardless of the flush or season. Such is the case with this first flush Ruby which has a lovely amber liquor that is very flavorful. Every sip is smooth and full bodied, refined and complex. The fruitiness of the aroma carries over to the cup with notes of citrus, Muscat grapes and a bare hint of vanilla. There is just a trace of astringency without the slightest bitterness.
Ingredients: Artisan Black Tea
Origin: Darjeeling, India
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas of northeastern India, Darjeeling is renowned for producing the "Champagne of Black Teas". It is one of the four main tea growing regions in India and, at 6,000 feet, the highest in elevation. Formerly called Sidrabong the Arya Estate (which means “respectable” or “best” in the Indian language) is a relatively small tea garden that was established in the eighteenth century by a group of Buddhist monks, whose original dwelling is preserved on the property to this day. It is fully certified bio-organic and is strongly committed to environmental sustainability. The Estate actually has the distinction of having the first private hydro-power generator in Asia! As a small organic tea garden, Arya’s focus has always been on producing artisan teas of exceptional quality.
Water Temperature: Just off the Boil (205 degrees)
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf: (per 6 fl oz water): 1--2 Tbl.(2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 2-4 minutes
Number of Infusions: 2
When measuring it is best to weigh your tea. (I use a small pocket scale. We have a few or you can get good inexpensive scales at Old Will Knotts) Measuring volume with a teaspoon or tablespoon is not accurate because whole leaf teas take up much more space than broken, graded teas.
We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." However, leaving the tea leaves in the water will result in an over-infused, bitter tea. If you want a stronger cup of tea increase the amount of leaf rather than the steeping time. If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.