|"I can be lazy and liberal with this one."|
Darjeeling whites are my third favorite type of white tea – surpassed only by Silver Needle and Ceylon Silver Tips in excellence. The trait they have over the other two is the relaxed prep they can endure. You can burn the ever-living-heck out of a Darjeeling white. One time - on a whim – I brewed a Risheehat white with boiled water, and it still turned out splendid. Arya’s Pearl had a lot to live up to.
Unlike the other Darjeeling whites I’ve sampled, the leaves for this batch were absolutely exquisite looking. They didn’t have the “roughed-up” appearance of the Risheehat Silver or the Namring estate white. The leaves were gentle, “faintly jade” (Canton Tea’s own words), and possessed a wilderness spice aroma. There was a slight vegetal tone on after-whiff, but it was manageably minor.
Brewing instructions on the Canton site called for 1-to-2 tsps. per cup of 167F water with an infusion time of two-to-three minutes; fairly standard for a white tea. I did 1 tsp. in 8oz. of 165F for three minutes. It was a default that usually worked for any white tea, burly or not.
The liquor came out almost crystal clear with a mild, nutty nose. The taste echoed that to the letter. There simply wasn’t that much there. Sure, there was some nut-and-spice to the palate, but not much. I wondered what I did wrong. On a second steep, I raised the temperature to 170F-175-ish, again at the three-minute-mark. The resulting liquor took on a faint yellow color this time with a mild-to-middling spicy aroma. There we go. That’s what I wanted. The flavor started with a nutty forefront that transitioned to a berry/spice middle, and ended on a wildernessy note. As I thought, it had the burly potential of other Darjeeling whites. I can be lazy and liberal with this one.
— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Arya Pearl White Darjeeling, 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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