DetailsCountry of Origin: Nepal
Shipping Port: Calcutta
Grade: TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
Attitude: up to 7000 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: This tea has lovely hints of muscatel and good strength, similar to an excellent Darjeeling.
Infusion: Bright, light tending slightly greenish
Ingredients: Luxury black tea.
Ilam estate has a Darjeeling-like character with good muscatel flavour. Some may ask: ?What is the muscatel flavour?? When you taste this tea you will experience an almost perfume like character that some tea drinkers call ?Chanel like?: others call the Darjeeling character ?slightly over-fired? or oaky. The muscatel flavour is the natural taste of the tea - becoming more pronounced during April (light tasting with astringency and intense flavor) and June (intense flavor with more body). The flavour is on account of the altitude of the tea estate, the soil conditions in the Himalayas the weather patterns, temperature, the originating species of the bush (Chinese genus as opposed to the Indian genus) and fermenting techniques; it has nothing to do with the tea being over-fired (over-fired is a description of poor manufacturing techniques). The leaf appearance is very typical of a well-produced high mountain grown Nepalese tea. It appears mottled with brownish and greenish leaf - almost camouflage-like. This appearance is caused the myriad of different mother bushes, the older age of the bushes and the subsequent fact that the leaves ferment differently.
The area where Ilam is produced is high in the Himalayan Mountains. The slopes where the tea is produced are extremely steep which makes it very difficult for the tea pluckers to go about their work. At Ilam one is surrounded by the high snow covered peaks of the world?s highest mountains. It is truly a very scenic area. The quality of this tea befits the tremendous efforts undertaken to produce the tea and the beautiful surroundings.
The are 3 main times of year for producing good quality Ilam Nepal teas:
1st flush - springtime harvested teas from late Feb. to mid April. The young leaves yield a light tea with generally intense muscatel with ?point?. A gentle afternoon tea.
2nd flush - Harvested in June, these teas are more fully developed. The liquor is bright and the taste full and round excellent muscatel. A superb afternoon tea that is especially good with scones and raspberry conserve.
Autumnal - Not always available depending upon the weather, they are typified by a round taste and coppery liquor. Excellent as a breakfast tea with milk.
Hot tea-brewing method: This tea is best enjoyed using 2-3 heaping teaspoons for a 6-cup teapot. Allow the tea to steep for 3-5 minutes, remove the leaves and pour. We do not recommend adding milk or sugar since this can mask some of the intrigue and subtle nuances of this vintage tea.