Good morning, dear tea friends! As promised, this morning’s tea is a white tea from the Arya estate in Darjeeling, located in northeastern India.
Called Arya Pearl, its processing is as precious as its name. The full leaf sets are plucked at dawn when the dew is still wet on the leaves. After drying in the sun for several hours they are then carefully rolled in silk cloth and then allowed more drying time.
How does this white tea differ from the China Pai Mu Tan I reviewed last week, I wonder?
Aside from the obvious – grown in different countries – I immediately see a difference in the appearance of the leaf. While both teas are composed of the new growth plucking, the Arya Pearl’s leaves appear to be greener whereas the Pai Mu Tan had more of a white-ish appearance because of the abundance of fine white hairs all over the leaves. I don’t see as many white hairs on the Arya Pearl leaf, do you?
The wet leaf is very similar, with the Arya Pearl being a little longer and thinner.
I found the most pronounced difference to be in the flavor of the hot tea. The Arya Pearl has a strong vegetal aroma and flavor when it is hot. That was all I could taste. As the tea cooled down, however, more notes came out, including that sugar cookie note I really like.
I steeped the leaves for 8 minutes in 180F water. If you plan on re-steeping the leaves, you want to reduce the time on that first steeping.
The tea liquor is the same light straw color with a hint of green.
As I enjoy my second cup, the tea has cooled down considerably and I’m discovering some tropical fruity notes.
Tea continues to amaze and delight me in my journey with it. Not only can two teas from the same category taste different from one another but the same tea can exhibit different flavor notes at different temperatures! Have you ever experienced that? If so, I’d love to hear your tea story.
My company is closed this week for our annual vacation. I’ll be heading to Michigan soon to visit with my family so there won’t be a tea post next Saturday. Enjoy your tea and I’ll see you in 2 weeks.
Happy 236th birthday to the USA!
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
~first paragraph, Declaration of Independence, 1776