I know that I’ve mentioned this before but if someone asked me the question – what’s your favorite tea? – I would have to be honest and admit it. Darjeelings have a special place in my heart. What is it about them, you might ask, that puts them at the top of my list? Well, there are so many wonderful characteristics but I would have to say that it’s their fragrance that transports me to another place. A quiet, calm place. To me, tea is more than just its flavor. It is an experience and a Darjeeling definitely fulfills that for me.
So, without further ado, this morning’s tea is a Darjeeling from the Arya estate and is called Ruby. A gem of a cuppa, for sure.
As you can see, the leaves are much larger than an average Darjeeling. They are plucked from specially grown clonal tea bushes and carefully processed by hand to ensure their leaf remains intact and the flavor is developed.
I used twice the amount of tea I usually spoon into my glass teapot and steeped the leaves for 3 1/2 minutes in boiling point water.
Just think – this leaf started its life in another part of this world. A land of towering, majestic mountains and a climate that nurtures its careful growth into something unique that produces a delicious brew.
It is said that the Arya estate was started by a group of Buddhist monks who carefully developed their tea plants from some seeds brought over from China. I reviewed another Arya Ruby several years ago on a snowy day in early spring. You can read that review here.
A customer told me this past week that he loves Darjeelings for their beautiful amber color. I agree!
A pronounced fruity, grape aroma wafts up as I pour my first cup.
The fruitiness carries on into the flavor with rich notes of muscatel. This tea is a second flush harvest, picked in the summertime. With each sip, I’m transported to a warm, sunny time where swollen, ripe fruit are just ready to be picked. Mmmmm…
Today I’m attending a holiday concert where a good friend is performing with her harp. I can’t think of anything better to get into the spirit of the season than to close my eyes and settle into the lovely angelic strains of harp music.
What are you doing to get into the spirit of this holiday season?
“Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.” ~Francis P. Church
love this Karen… I’m trying to figure out your background of your tea leaves.. it’s beautiful. The Harp concert was amazing!
Thanks Judy. I like to use all sorts of different backgrounds, it’s fun. I know, I loved it, too!
[…] I wrote about the 2007 harvest lot of this tea here. The Arya estate, located in the Himalayan mountains of northeast India, produces special, hand processed tea lots with beautiful gemstone names like Ruby (black), Pearl (white) and Emerald (green). I reviewed Arya Ruby a couple of months ago here. […]