I wrote a review for this tea last night and tried to post it at least four separate times, but it got eaten each time. Steepster was hungee!!! Anyway, this was another of the samples that Vahdam Teas so kindly sent to me. I had long been aware that the Arya Tea Estate was one of the most consistently acclaimed tea producers in Darjeeling, but until I tried this tea, I had yet to try any of the teas produced by this estate. If this one was representative of their offerings, I guarantee I will be trying more soon.
I prepared this tea Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted a pronounced Muscatel aroma underscored by grass and sweet corn. After infusion, I again picked up a strong Muscatel scent balanced by sweet corn and grass, but this time I also picked up nice aromas of citrus, malt, herbs, and peach. In the mouth, there was a strong Muscatel note from the entry to the swallow. Notes of white peach, tangerine, sweet orange, grass, herbs, malt, cream, honey, and sweet corn provided balance. The fade offered lingering traces of Muscatel underpinned by citrus, honey, grass, sweet corn, and malt.
This was a seriously impressive offering. Of the first flush Darjeelings I have tried, this one probably offered the clearest and strongest Muscatel presence. Fortunately, there was a lot more to this tea than that. I would recommend this one highly to those looking for a sweet, fruity first flush Darjeeling with a well-defined Muscatel character.
Flavors: Citrus, Corn Husk, Cream, Grass, Herbs, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Orange, Peach