by edgar on October 4th, 2011
This is a small family-owned tea garden near Kurseong, a small but thriving hill town in Darjeeling. Giddapahar means Eagles Cliff and the estate sits on a mountain with a jagged rock face. The tea bushes grow high up in this cool, clean air, shrouded in mist for much of the year – perfect for the Chinese varietal Camellia sinensis (v sinensis). The tea bushhes grow slowly at such high altitude and low temperatures, concentrating the delicate, floral flavours in the leaves.
The First Flush from the estate produces quite small leaves which are processed to retain some green. The gold liquor has the lively Muscatel quality for which Darjeelings are prized and this classic black Darjeeling has a wonderfully sweet and complex flavour with notes of honey and almond and a faint buttery note.
Such a rare and sought after tea deserves to be brewed carefully. Use plenty of leaf at 90°C and infuse for 2-3 minutes. As with all fine teas, reinfuse several times.