In Darjeeling, where I still was few days ago, I could taste the new produced autumal teas 2016.
This year, the Autumn flush Darjeeling tea harvest is slightly late as it rained quite heavily during the early weeks of October and in November. Once sunny days and quite warm temperature came back, the major production could start.
Even the Darjeeling tea production runs over quite 9 months, the so called « Autumn teas » or « Third flush Darjeeling » beginn usually at the end of the monsoon, when the tea bushes start getting continuous sunshine and high climatic temperature during the day time and cold climatic conditions during the night. Then, the cup will give out a bright orange liquor and very fruity floral liquor.
I particulary have appreciated the fresh produced black tea from the Arya tea estate surnamed « Ruby ». In this garden, all types of tea have a nickname refering to a precious or semi precious stone ( Emerald for the green tea, Pearl for the white, Topaz for the Oolong).
Even the quality of the teas produced by this reputed garden is well-known, it is always of interest to underline its specifities.
One of its specificity doesn’t come from the fact that the estate is planted with China Jats, which is a common denominator in the majority of the Darjeeling gardens, but from the large part of teabushes coming from the « RR » cultivar. The term RR clone refers to Runglee Rungliot clone which was first conceived in this eponymous garden. This cultivar, married to a real know-how in processing tea, is the one responsible for this special note of citrus.
The dry leaves are long, stylish, wiry, even (with some open leaves), light curly, and very tippy. Because of the white tips, the leaf apparence remains with 3 colors. The nose is fresh, light peppery and with a hint of citrus.
The infusion reveal quite long leaves, in braunish and silvery olives tons. The nose is light, delicate, slightly green and fresh. It has a lingering aftertaste leaving a cool fragrance on your breath.
Either the orange liquor is round and quite longlasting. Fine, without any astrengency or bitterness, it expresses light fruity and greenish notes with a hint of lemon at the end. Its lingering aftertaste leaves a cool fragrance on your breath.