Review: Darjeeling Tea Exclusive Arya Elixir Green Second Flush 2010

Darjeeling Tea, Darjeeling Tea Exclusive, Green Tea, Organic Tea Add comments
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Thumbs up!"The subtlety of its character is coupled with a sign of possible resilience, like a full-bodied Indian white tea."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9.2/10
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When one mentions green teas, one doesn't automatically think Darjeeling. The region is best known for its nut-spice, muscatel-like black teas. This was an impression I had until coming across the Arya Tea Estate. One of their wares - dubbed "Emerald" - passed by my lips by chance. At first, on appearance, I thought it was a first flush OP, but that was soon corrected after taste. It was a delightfully subtle but succulent green tea. Far different character from its Far East cousins.

Darjeeling Tea Exclusive provided me another opportunity to try an Arya green - one given the grade "Elixir". Very tantalizing moniker. I was nowhere near an expert on what constituted a first flush or second flush green tea, or whether there was a difference in flavor/fragrance. What I could do was give my initial impression on smell alone; a very floral, clean scent greeted me, not unlike Chinese Mao Jian.

Brewing per the Darjeeling Tea Exclusive site called for a three-to-five-minute steep. No mention of temp or time. That was easily deduced. Most greens - light or dark, with the exception of Japanese varieties - held up well with a 170F water temp. I went that route with 2 teaspoons-worth in 8oz for three minutes.

Like its Emerald sister, the Elixir's liquor brewed pale green - almost white tea transparent. Mouthpiece aroma was very green with a subtle scent of strawberry leaves. The taste was a light, creamy, slightly nutty, and fruit-veiled experience. It definitely had the character of a Chinese green but with a little something extra. Safe to say, this is a green tea that one could risk a longer infusion for - maybe even four minutes. The subtlety of its character is coupled with a sign of possible resilience, like a full-bodied Indian white tea.

Darjeeling Tea Exclusive notes that it's not as superb as the Emerald, but I'm not sure I'd agree. I would liken the relationship between these two to Silver Needle and White Peony. Determining superiority in taste is a subjective debate. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but in the end, it's up to the drinker. I happened to prefer this to the Emerald for its richer presentation, but they both have room in my cup. Indian greens are there to stay.

— To purchase Darjeeling Tea Exclusive Arya Elixir Green Second Flush 2010, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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