Darjeeling Rohini Honey Ruby Oolong is a rare Second Flush ‘muscatel’ oolong from the Rohini Tea Estate grown at an altitude of 900-1,200 metres. It consists of buds and smaller young leaves that are picked and processed entirely by hand to preserve the delicate nature of the tea leaves. The plucking time and processing is specifically geared towards producing a flavour with a more pronounced muscatel aspect that is reminiscent of Taiwanese Oriental Beauty teas. Due to the tippy nature it produces a particularly delicate flavour, with a sweet honeyed taste and a fresh citrus zest aftertaste. Late May 2021 harvest.
Like all our Rohini and Gopaldhara teas, we source it directly from Rishi Saria, the owner and director of Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates. Rohini Tea Estate is located along the route that connects the towns of Siliguri and Kurseong. Surrounded by a beautiful natural environment, this estate produces tea from relatively young trees. The estate has had a chequered past, not actually producing any tea for about 30 years after it was shut in 1962. Recently it has been replanted with young tea trees, so sometimes it is referred to as the youngest tea estate in Darjeeling. It is now going from strength to strength and is producing more and more interesting and higher quality teas. Most recently Rohini have been elevating the quality and flavours by focusing on smaller hand processed batches and more unusual types of tea.
This Honey Ruby Oolong is similar in nature to Taiwanese ‘bug bitten’ Oriental Beauty teas. Similarly to the attacks of a little green leaf hopper in Taiwan, this oolong is also affected by the Tea Jassids (Jacobiasca formosana) in Darjeeling. The leaf hoppers nibble the tea leaves during growth so the tea plants react to this attack by producing more polyphenols. During tea processing this produces a unique ‘beauty tea’ flavour (known as mi xian in Taiwan and referred to as muscatel in Darjeeling) that is usually described as having a honey-like taste and aroma.
This Darjeeling Rohini Honey Ruby Oolong is a very delicate Second Flush muscatel oolong. It consists of very neat leaves with plenty of silver coloured buds that produce a bright, lightly golden liquor with good clarity and a sweet aroma. The predominately honey profile has a soft and smooth flavour without any harshness, astringency or dryness. The tasting notes also add spicy, mineral and tart fruity notes with a woody undercurrent. The aftertaste is very clean with lightly vapourific notes of citrus zest and just a touch of dryness at the very end.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3-4 minutes and can be brewed 2+ times. Like all top grade teas from Gopaldhara and Rohini, you can try experimenting with gongfu brewing.