Just tried these two Estate Darjeeling from Upton Tea and a pu-erh from Jing Tea Shop.
2006 Arya Estate Pekoe, 1st Flush, Darjeeling
Medium yellow-orange liquid color. A woody (cedar-y?) tea with overtones of tobacco, cigar box and forest floor. Highly aromatic and fresh smelling, like walking in the forest or meadow in the spring time (I've hiked in the Yosemite and Sequoia Nat. Park a few times before). This 1st flush is not as tannic as the Makaibari Estate 1st Flush I tried, and it's also not as fruity. Light body. A slightly bitter aftertaste, but the woody aroma is definitely pleasant. I got around 7 - 8 infusions out of the leaves, using a 6oz gaiwan and boiling water. 7s 7s 10s 15s 30s 45s 1min...
===+ / 5 (g - vg)
2006 Arya Ruby, 1st Flush
Medium orange-reddish liquid color. Much redder and darker leaves than the previous sample. Surprisingly, however, it's more fruit-forward than the previous one by the same estate. Aromas of overripe mango, jackfruit, some other yellow fruit that I can't quite place and a hint of citrus. It's also not as astringent as the Makaibari estate 1st flush. Light bodied and tastes like a fruity red tea. About 7-8 infusions with the same method as above.
=== / 5 (g)
I noticed that Darjeeling teas' bouquet is most intense on the bottom of an emptied cup and in the wet leaves, but less from the liquor itself. This is similar to fine green(er) oolong teas, where people sniff the bottom of the cup to enjoy its bouquet.
1998 Haiwan #7548 Pu-erh Beeng/Cake
Loose leaves that came from a tea beeng, sent as a sample to me by Jing Tea Shop in Guangzhou. Broken dry/wet leaves. Quite dark in appearance, showing some age look-wise. Taste wise, however, it's still astringent and young tasting. A so-so quality, in my opinion. Earthy tones with green tastes mostly. Nothing complex, nothing great.
== / 5 (ok)