2020 started really interesting for us with us visiting pristine estates in the Nilgiris. 2021 is off to a much more exciting start with a lot of new additions to the Nilgiri Collection! Let us take you through that!
This particular tea goes through a bunch of unique steps. The withering is done using cold air instead of hot air. The temperature increase also happens by hot water opposed to flames. This adds a stability to the temperature and helps with preserving the leaf character. Also, the tea is hand rolled on a purpose built Sri Lankan wooden board and we have seen the big difference it makes, in India as well as in Sri Lanka tea estates we visted a few years back.
The dry leaf has a soothing flowery aroma with notes of rose dominating it. When placed on the heated ware, the same flowery aroma shines with a significant honey aroma. In the liquor, the first few drops taste like saffron and then you can feel the notes of yellow flowers coming to the front. The mouthfeel has just a touch of dryness with speckles of mint notes. The wet leaves smell slightly nutty and has notes of rosewood, which make their way into the liquor during the later steeps or when it cools down if brewed western style. The tea has musky notes, a part of the yellow flower character/notes. There is a fruity note resembling apricots and oranges on the finish.
We believe the tea makers in Nilgiris have completely aced thier green tea technique, nowhere else in India, we get such exquisitely crafted greens. This winter harvest green is no different, the dry leaf has aroma of fresh fruity notes of mangoes and Indian guawa with a distinct white flower note. The liquor has notes of white flowers like lilies and jasmine, fruity notes of mango and guava along with a touch of vegetal note akin to Armenian cucumber. On the later steeps, you get even stronger white flower notes along with raw mango. On the greener side, the vegetal and leafy notes are resembling of iceberg lettuce and cucumber family.
A freshly harvested tea from 2021, this is a minimally processed white tea from a high altitude estate in the blue hills of Nilgiris. A delicate white tea, processed in Bai Mu Dan style, should be experienced for its flowery character. The dry leaf smells fruity with notes of oranges. The liquor is like a bouquet of white flowers with a freshness similar to peppermint sans the minty bite, also somewhat close to fresh coriander leaf. The multi dimentional white flower note is what shines upfront about this tea. It has notes of lilies, jasmine, orchids along with some night jasmine on the finish. We recommend brewing it western style to extract all these white flower notes we love, in a single brew.
The estate making this tea runs through a steep valley ranging from 5400 to 6900 feet. Winter harvest is one of the most interesting seasons and more so when it is from Nilgiri. Their winter produce is similar to Darjeeling First Flush : brisk and floral with a blast of sweet aromatics. The tender winter buds go through some frosty mornings and cold nights right after autumn, this brings out a distinct palatte of flavours which is unique to the Nilgiri region. The tea is oxidised very little to preserve the freshness of the young leaves and buds. This enables you to experience the terroir in its truest sense. Every aspect of this tea is a clue to the place it comes from, the dry leaf has a pinewood aroma along with a minty freshness reminding you of the cool aromatic breeze which flows around the plantation areas in Nilgiri. When placed on the heated ware, there is a blast of flowery notes with a creamy undertone. The flowery aroma has notes of white flowers like lily and jasmine. The infusion has notes of white flowers, raw peach and a pleasant high mountain astringency making you crave another sip. Along with that, once you are comfortable with the cup, you get refreshing notes of betel leaf, areca nut, jasmine and rose. Every sip is followed by a long lasting fruity aftertaste, mostly of semi ripe peach and Indian guava. We hope you sit back and relax while experiencing the Nilgiri winters in your cup through this tea!
The 2021 version of our Nilgiri Highland Green you are familiar with. The clarity the liquor has makes for a very enjoyable cup, the intense umami notes greet you as soon as you place the tea into your vessel. We prefer using a shiboridashi for this green. When you pour the water for your first infusion, the umami and vegetal aroma fills the area around you creating a wonderful atmosphere for this savoury drink. The first infusion has notes of corn, umami and a pleasant vegetal note tending towards zucchini and spinach. Second infusion onwards it tends towards flowery(white flowers) and spinach with a hint of raw mango. The mouthfeel is clean with the refreshing vegetal and grassy notes coating your mouth.
We could not buy a lot of this last year and it sold out pretty quick! This year, we have stocked enough to serve our complete customer base and to be honest, ourselves too! This also comes from the same estate as the last year version and we hope you savour this fragrant oolong tea from the blue hills of Nilgiri! The dry leaf aroma is creamy and nutty which translates perfectly into the cup along with its flowery notes dominant in sweet yellow flowers. The aftertaste is long lasting and mostly fruity with the astringency staying along in the later steeps. The first infusion is dominant in the creamy, nutty and flowery notes. After the first steep, the rose/rose leaf kicks in and stays till the later steeps along with some fruity notes like litchi and apricots.
We hope you enjoy this fresh harvest as much as us!