Review: Canton Tea Company Organic Arya Ruby First Flush Darjeeling

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co., Darjeeling Tea Add comments
MaryAnn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"First flush Darjeeling from Arya Estate's famous Jewel Range teas."
MaryAnn’s Teaview: 8/10
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Leaves of this Ruby first flush are beautiful. Dark and twisty mixed with a few green and beige tips. Aroma -- dark chocolate and chestnutty. The dry leaves promise a great tea experience.

My first try, I couldn’t get anything resembling the deep port colored ruby red brew described by Canton Teas. Honing my precision, I followed the merchant’s recommendation to the letter, brewing 1 T. of leaves in 8 oz of 158F water for 2 minutes. Squinting, I was able to detect perhaps a slight trace of ruby red overtones to the essentially tan color of a typical first flush Darjeeling. What was the problem? Was I somehow abusing this fine tea?

Learning more about the Arya Estate, which has converted to all organic, I discovered that its Jewel Range teas are among its most famous and include a full spectrum from Ruby (Black Tea), to Emerald (Green Tea), Pearl (White Tea), Diamond (Chunky Tips) and Topaz (Oolong). I hypothesized that there is no reason to expect this first flush Darjeeling to be uniquely or spectacularly red given there are other Arya Ruby teas in the Jewel Range, and the obviousness that black teas tend to brew red as opposed to the brewed color of green or white tea. I resolved to stop obsessing, relax and enjoy the tea.

Aroma – fresh smell of green spring, very light floral, fruity. Taste – light, woodsy, very slight astringency but overall smooth. My efforts to bring out more from a second steeping at 170F were not as successful as the 158F brew, which I’d recommend sticking to.

I’m fascinated by the effect tea has on quality of mind. Following my experience with the Arya Ruby, I went outside to a mid-April midday full of light layers of gray puffy clouds, swirling prior to dispersing with burnoff. The day was straight out of a cloud painting from one of our locals just back from the Himalayas. Layer upon layer of gray, infinite depth, two solitary birds circling directly above. That’s what this tea set me up for – a subtle and evocative experience.

— To purchase Canton Tea Company Organic Arya Ruby First Flush 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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