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monk tea green leaf darjeeling

February 22, 2010

Monk Tea is a company based out of India and sell teas from the famed Arya Estate, a great producer of fine Darjeeling tea. Loosely translated, “Arya” means “best” or “respectable” . The estate is roughly 300 acres with an average altitude of 1500 feet.  This tea is bio-organic certified, from the autumnal flush and graded GFTGFOP1.

This is the first time I have tried green Darjeeling tea. It looks very much like traditional Darjeeling except the color is a dark green rather than black. The fragrance of the dry leaf is spicy, woody, earthy and strongly vegetal. There is also a light floral characteristic to the leaves.

The infusion is straw-colored and bright. The aroma of the liquor ranges from the traditional green tea scents (oceanic, brothy and vegetal) to something a bit more complex, with a little kick, a little spice (white pepper?). The taste is sublime, kind of like Sencha with a bit of black Darjeeling in the mix, and a touch of subtle sweetness to balance it all out.

Overall, I feel that this is a green tea that brings something a little different to the table. It is more full bodied than most ordinary green teas and the mouth-feel is substantial. There’s a bit of pleasant astringency in the finish, a trait so many Darjeelings possess. It’s that unique Darjeeling palate, with delicate green tea aromas and flavors. I found this tea to be complex, interesting and thoroughly enjoyable.

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