2020 Nuxalbari First Flush
[LIMITED LOT] A beautiful light & delicate first flush loose leaf tea from the astonishing Sonia Jabbar [5th generation] and her team at the Nuxalbari Tea Estate in the Do-oars, North East India.
This tea will be delivered in our new compostable packaging >> read more here
In more depth....
Tea Name : 2020 Nuxalbari First Flush
Tea Maker : Sonia Jabbar
Origin : Nuxalbari Tea Estate, Naxalbari Dist. Darjeeling, West Bengal
Size : 1200-acres
Harvest Time : March
Cultivar : The organic sections are TV 25-26 with a few TV1 & TV 17.
Grade : Organic SFTGFOP1
Plucking standard : 5-7 day rounds year round. 2 leaves & a bud, 1 leaf 1 bud
Processing : Withered, rolled, oxidised and fired.
Experience : The tea makes a light liquor and delivers a beautiful refreshing and aromatic cup
Last visited by Comins : July 2018, Michelle Comins
How to prepare tea [Western Style]...
Amount of tea per cup (200 ml): 2-2.5g (half a tea caddy spoon)
Temperature of water: 95℃ / 185℉ (boil kettle, cool for 20 seconds)
Infusion time: 3-4 minutes (or as desired)
Number of infusions: 1
How to enjoy: No milk, no sugar
Tales of the Tea Trade : Nuxalbari
Located in Darjeeling District, Nuxalbari Tea Estate (alt 800 ft.) is a pleasantly wooded,1200-acre property. Home to over a thousand families of workers, It nestles snugly in the lap of the Eastern Himalayas, and is a tropical paradise with lush vegetation and a wide variety of birds, wild langurs, the solitary leopard and herds of Asian Elephants that criss-cross the estate. It is also the first Indian tea estate to get world's 'elephant-friendly' tag [read more here]
Michelle : It was in 2017 that I first came across Nuxalbari after spending some time in the Dooars. I could not visit on that trip so returned in 2018, combining it with a trip to Darjeeling. What I discovered here was a remarkable story of a remarkable woman and her fight to continue her families legacy in tea after the untimely death of her mother [who ran the estate for 30 years] in 2011. As she told us - “since then I have slogged to try and make magic”. At Nuxalbari a beautiful connection exists between tea grower and the land with huge repeat for trees, soil and wildlife. Larger gardens like this are often dismissed in the more specialist tea market but although few and far between there are still family run larger gardens doing amazing work that we believe should be understood and recognised. For gardens like Nuxalbari in lesser known areas [this garden is in the Darjeeling district but outside the boundary for the 'Darjeeling Label' ] it is a struggle to be recognised - after all of their efforts much of the tea from gardens like this will simply be blended, their identity lost. When you taste what this garden offers you will realise what a waste this is. Nuxalbari single estate organic tea deserves to be enjoyed, asked for and recognised by name - the care put into these beautiful gardens demands it
Want to know more? : Read our blog or ask Michelle when you come in for tea. She will happily sit down with you over a cup and chat about our last visit there. Its a wonderful story.
Michelle : Extract from our our book Tales of the tea trade :
Sonia : ‘In 2010 I converted 12 acres of our estate to organic after taking a course in Bhutan. Everyone, [....] said it couldn’t be done because of the lush, tropical conditions, which are a veritable breeding ground for pests. The organic sections got very weak with repeated pest attacks. I lost crop. I got terribly disheartened. But then I stuck to good agricultural practices. [.....]I observed the weeds and wondered why we were obsessed with keeping these sections “clean” and weed free. Apart from three or four species, most weeds have shallow roots and were hardly competing with the mature tea, whose roots went down to 3 feet. The weeds actually disrupted the monoculture of tea and encouraged biodiversity"
[...] "My market is wherever there are people who want excellent quality, ethically sourced teas with aroma and flavour. Everyone is madly trying to increase yields [....] but I don’t want to play that game – it’s a dead end. People don’t realize that it’s living soil, and you can’t keep increasing yield without exhausting the land. So I am doing the absolute opposite [...] I am honouring the soil, honouring my tea bushes and trees, honouring the people who work for me, while trying to make good-quality teas"