Moonbeam, Arya Tea Estate
Although one of the smaller tea estates of Darjeeling, Arya has gained a formidable reputation taking on the big players with its specialty teas. Arya teas are well crafted in terms of both appearance and taste; being organic is an added bonus.
Moonbeam is an exquisite black tea with a bouquet that is complex and elevating in its effect. Compared to Ruby, which is another popular tea from the same garden, it has more finer and sophisticated flavor.
DRY TEA: This is a well-twisted, wiry and a very tippy tea. The leaf colors are largely dark grey, with a smattering of green and brown. The tips are long with fine pubescence, affording a great bloom and a stylish appearance. The smell of the leaves is a heady mix of nutty, peppery, vegetal notes with an unmistakable hint of famed muscatel. Normally, the latter is pronounced in the second flush of Darjeeling teas (May-June).
Notably, Arya teas always seem to bear the muscatel flavor irrespective of the season.
INFUSION: The leaves turn pale green and brown. The nose is fragrant with earthly tones, and a stronger hint of the muscatel. It is sweet, vegetal, fruity (evocative of a ripe mango).
CUP: The liqor is a fine golden hue bearing a rich bouquet that is at the same time delicate and smooth. The tea feels mellow and rolls evenly through the palate. It has hints of roasted almond overlaid with floral tones rounding off with a buttery touch. It has a cooling effect, bearing as if the nip of the Himalayan spring air.
BREWING TIME: 3 minutes.
OCCASION: A nice morning cup, but really can be had anytime.