Ambootia First Flush Darjeeling [29.3.21]
Tea Name : Ambootia First Flush
A well balanced cup with high fragrance
KC's Notes on this tea : 'This tea has a lot of floral notes, giving one the feeling of being in an orchard. For me this is a very joyful tea'
This tea will be delivered in our new compostable packaging >> read more here
In more depth...
The tea garden...
The organic and biodynamic Ambootia garden is around 4000ft and spread across several hills with a large section covered by dense forest. KC Shares : Ambootia tea garden is the UN's model Organic tea farm and we try to maximise natural influences to synergise with the inherent quality of tea plants to produce the best Darjeeling. It's one-of-a- kind of tea estate with 2/3rd of the total area remaining under forest and rivers- the intrinsic quality of nature, fragrance of natural flowers and plants, river bound air contemplates in quality. Ambootia is equipped with arguably the best tea factory of Darjeeling to ensure that we do justice to the unparalleled quality that the plants produce.
- Elevation : 4000 ft - KC shares 'elevation plays a part on quality but it is not the all that influences quality. Lower the elevation flush starts earlier - the tea plants have faster metabolic activities compared to higher elevations thus leaf structure is bit larger'
- Date of plucking : 29.3.21
- Fine % : 90% Fine : 90% one leaf and a bud and 10% second leaf
- Manufacture date : 29.3.21
- Withering : 65% - KC shares : '% wither depends on leaf quality, ambience and type of tea you make. A 65% wither is a medium - harder wither'
- Rolling : 20 minutes
- Drying temp : 230 C ' KC shares : this tea passes directly from the roller into the drier to capture the inherent flowery character that requires less oxidation. Hence with this tea no extra oxidation (i.e. that usually done on the floor) was given'
- Type of tea bushes : You can see from looking at the sample that the tea is all from young tea areas and is all from clonals. The tea was made on the 29.3 which is very early. At this point the bushes were not flushing evenly so the tea came from 7 different sections. You can see from looking at the leaf that there is a synergy of leaf quality
- Wet leaf is Fragrant like a mixed floral bouquet, bright & vibrant & intact?- the tea is well rolled
- What do the colours in the leaf mean : The difference in colours reflects the different withering rates - some varieties take more wither and some take less. Black particles indicate an under wither while the green is a well withered particle.
- Ambootia teas are very floral and throughout the year there is a floral note. Why this is the case is very difficult to concisely explain it is an intervention of climatic and environmental factors. KC shares : even in blind tasting Ambootia is easy to distinguish with its floral tones and orange undertones
Origin : Ambootia Garden, Kumaltar, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India.
Size : Total area- 966.58 Ha, Area under Tea- 354.08 Ha
Harvest Time : 29th March 2021
Cultivar : TS-569
Plucking standard : Two leaves and one bud
Processing : Withered, rolled and fired.
Experience : A well balanced cup with high fragrance
Date of Plucking : Plucking date- 29th March
Last visited by Comins : June 2018, Michelle Comins
How to prepare tea GAIWAN
Amount of tea per bowl (200 ml): 2.5 g (1 tsp)
Water temperature: 95℃ / 212℉
Infusion / brewing time: 2-3 minutes
Number of infusions: 3
How to enjoy: No sugar, no milk.
In more depth...
Tales of the Tea Trade : Ambootia
Michelle : Extract from our our book Tales of the tea trade :
Michelle : My first taste of Ambootia Darjeeling marked the start of a new addiction. Our customers agreed: the Rainbow Darjeeling from Ambootia, Kurseong and the Gold Mist Assam from Jamguri, Golaghat, Assam (which is part of the same group of gardens) stand out from the crowd and have gained a firm following at our teahouses [....]
[....]In 1948 Darjeeling, post-independence adjustments were being made to the way things were run and a Mr S.P. Bansal Snr moved to the northeast of India. From 1954 he managed Ambootia TE until 1968 and after this stint he undertook the responsibility of turning around other sick and ailing
tea estates in the region. He was a much sought-after planter of his time and a champion in turning around sick tea estates [...]
[....] On 1 January 1987, at the request of the workers, Mr Bansal Snr took over the tea estate to protect the future of the 923 estate workers and successfully revive it to what we know today: a successful and profitable garden making exceptional teas. An important step on that journey has been the introduction of organic and biodynamic agriculture introduced in 1994 by Sanjay Bansal, Mr Bansal Snr’s son [...] Across the garden [...] initiatives are in place to ensure that the whole system is self sustaining, socially responsible and economically viable.
Further insight from our time at Ambootia
The Ambootia tea garden resides in the mist laden Himalayas of Darjeeling - an area famed for a flavour of its teas. The garden is the flagship tea garden of a collective that were taken over at a time of ailing fortune in the Darjeeling tea industry. This garden was the first one to be converted from conventional to bio-dynamic and was selected by FAO as a model farm for organic, bio-dynamic farming system.
The biodynamic tea and organic practices adopted here have truly infused the bushes with vitality and enhanced the quality of the leaf. These practices have prevented soil erosion and improved soil fertility. Ambootia is also committed to supporting the Save Our Soils Fund substantially over the next few years with financial contributions as well as by sharing their experiences and insights to help further sustainable soil management practices on a global scale.