Friday, February 23, 2007

Arya Estate Ruby Organic Second Flush

Class: Oolong
Origin: Arya Estate, Darjeeling, India
Year: 2005 (?)
Vendor: Upton Tea Imports
Price: $19.80 (80g packet) / $3.50 (10g sample)
Review: 8/10

Today's review (it's been a while since I reviewed anything, hasn't it?) is of the Arya Estate Ruby Organic Second Flush (EX-4) from Upton Tea Imports. It is a very nice tea, and I would certainly consider buying a more. It's not quite as nice as the Makaibari I reviewed recently, but it is definitely of high quality. I apologize for the picture-- this is an image of the last remnants in my bag, so it is not representative of the leaf quality. The dry leaves are actually quite nice, and tend to be longer and more robust than the ones shown. Arya Estate Ruby Second Flush Leaves They dry leaf also has a lovely fruity nose, and is faintly reminiscent of marzipan.

This tea is quite a gem (yes, "ruby", I know, I know). The liquor is very perky-feeling due to a bit of first flush sharpness, even though this is a second flush tea. It is decently rich in flavor, and has a nice sweetness to it. It is not quite as fruity as some others, but there is a subtle muscatel note and a hint of citrus that cuts nicely through the tea's body. Definitely drink this one hot, though-- its flavor doesn't carry over well when iced.

If you are a big fan of first flushes and like their brightness, this might be a good second flush option for you. It is surely more second flush in character, but it has some nice first flush attributes that shine through the mellow body. Unfortunately the brighter flavors are not quite strong enough-- they are more of an afterthought than an obvious characteristic, and make this tea feel a bit unbalanced (though this could just be due to age). Still, it is a high quality tea and I look forward to trying a more recent version. The Arya Estate Ruby Organic Second Flush gets an 8/10.

Oh, and if you're wondering why there's only one picture, it's because I accidentally threw out the infused leaves before I took a picture. Still, it's an Indian tea, so they're not that pretty anyway (that's not meant to sound racist or anything, it's just that Indian teas are broken up more during processing). I can't wait to put up some pictures of nice, full oolong leaves!


Bill said...

Nice post! I always enjoy reading them.

Salsero said...

Sensitive review. You sound a little conflicted toward the end. Is this the EX-5 organic or the EX-4 not organic?

Brent said...

Salsero, they are both organic, at least as far as I can tell. Though "organic" isn't in the EX-4's title on its page on Upton's site, it is filed with the rest of the organic teas and has a "Certified Organic by QAI, Inc" notice on the packet label.

Also, I am a bit conflicted, but only because I don't know how age has affected this tea. I have had it sitting around for a while now in its opened packet (though I closed it up as best I could), so I don't want to be too harsh in my review if its flaws are simply due to improper storage.

Anonymous said...

u lot need to get a fukin life!!!!
talkin about herbal fukin tea is the most boring thiong in my fukin life. talk about something interesting, eh? preferably football

Brent said...

Anonymous, I actually do like football. If watching it made me sound like you, though, I would stop immediately.

Beta user said...

Arya Estate Ruby Second Flush EX-5 is one of my all time favorite teas. I sorely wish more of it were available. They currently have as of this writing EX-30 & ex-45 which seems close by description

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