(Estate Black Tea)
Country of Origin: India
Region: Nilgiri - South India
Shipping Port: Cochin
Grade: FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe)
Altitude: 6000 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: An exceptionally flavory Nilgiri tea. Sweet floral-like notes with a delicious and satisfying tea character. An any time of day tea.
Infusion: Bright, tending coppery
Ingredients: Luxury black tea.
Tiger Hill is a top estate in the Nilgiri district of South India. The soil and climatic conditions produce very distinctive teas. This Jan. production tea has a flavor profile that is unbelievable. You will taste a fruit-like floral character with satisfying thickness. Upon first sip don’t worry if you tilt your head slightly, raise your eyebrow, look down at the cup and exclaim under your breath “Wow, this is tea?? What have I been drinking before??” This quality is only available in Jan. and the average price during this time is generally between 2 to 3 times the price at other times of the year. What causes this flavor?? - the sun shines more intensely, there are fewer clouds, the temperature is cooler and there is virtually no rain - the perfect conditions for stunning tea.
Tiger Hill has been producing tea only quite recently. This partially accounts for its high quality. Virtually all the tea on the estate is clonal. Clonal tea means that the majority of the tea bushes come from about 3 or 4 ‘mother bushes’. The mother bushes were selected because they made the best tea with above average yield. The estate first began production of tea in 1971 (young by tea estate standards!). The estate is quite small with 640 acres under tea cultivation which produce about 2.2 millions pounds of tea. The estate employs nearly 2000 people and is a respected employer noted for above average labor practices.
Nilgiri is a mountainous region of Tamil Nadu State in southeastern India. The peaks of the Nilgiris rise abruptly from the surrounding plains to an elevation of 5000 - 8500 feet above sea level. Tea was first planted on an experimental basis in 1835 and the first commercial tea garden was at Thiashola Tea Garden, which began operations in 1859. The tea at Thiashola was cultivated by Chinese prisoners of war, captured by the British during the Opium Wars.
The climate of the Nilgiris allows tea to be produced all year round. The first flushes of the new season are picked from April until May and account for about 25% of the region’s total harvest. The 2nd flush - accounting for about 40-45% of the yearly crop is from Sept. to Nov., and lastly the third flush is from Dec. to Jan. The best teas are produced during January and August.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help capture the floral character of this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea ‘straight-up’
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or ‘milky’ when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about! LE1107