Ambootia 2021 Rainbow Darjeeling Tea [Second Flush]
Tea Name : Ambootia Rainbow Darjeeling [Second Flush]
A delicate and exceptionally aromatic, floral loose leaf tea from the tender two leaves and a bud. Harvested in the morning from this highly reputed organic and biodynamic estate.
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 : 12.6.21
- Fine % : 60% Fine : 60% one leaf and a bud and 40% second leaf
- Manufacture date : 13.6.21
- 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
- Type of tea bushes : This tea is majority AV2 with some mixed clonals - all China varieties. You can see from looking at the sample that the tea is all from young tea areas and is all from clonals.
- Wet leaf is light & coppery as you would expect from a second flush
What do the colours in the leaf mean : The appearance of the leaf is uniform. There are a small number of silver tips in this leaf which are typical for China varieties - these are from succulent buds plucked in the early morning.
[Note from KC : if this tea was predominantly made from Clonals you would expect it to be full of tips - for very tippy teas the life of the tea is much shorter i.e. first flush. During second flush you do not get as many tips and in the monsoon the tips are even less. Why is this? Well in these seasons the buds are wet and during processing the 'pubescence' or tiny hairs on the leaves fall off - the silver-ness we see is the 'pubescence' and these tips have a distinct 'subdued' flavour which this brings acidness in the tea.
- 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 : 12.6.21
Cultivar : Predominantly AV2 & mixed clonals
Plucking standard : Two leaves and one bud
Processing : Withered, rolled and fired.
Experience : A well balanced cup with high fragrance
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.