Brief Insights: Kathmandu, Second Flush - The Tea & Spice Shoppe

Brief Insights: Kathmandu, Second Flush

Our Kathmandu tea hails from the renowned Ilam Estate, located in the Ilam Valley of eastern Nepal. It is considered one of the most prestigious tea gardens in the country and is known for producing high-quality, artisanal teas.

Location and Geography:

  • Location: Ilam Estate is situated in the Ilam Valley, which is part of the Ilam District in the Mechi Zone of eastern Nepal. It is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, near the border with the Indian state of West Bengal.

  • Altitude: The estate is located at an elevation ranging from 1,100 to 1,900 meters above sea level. The high-altitude location contributes to the unique flavor profile of the teas produced here.

Tea Varieties and Production:

  • Orthodox Teas: Ilam Estate specializes in producing orthodox teas. This means that the tea leaves are handpicked and processed using traditional methods, which result in whole leaf teas with distinctive flavors.

  • Varieties: Ilam Estate produces a range of teas, including black, green, white, and oolong teas. Each type of tea undergoes specific processing methods to bring out its unique characteristics.

  • Flavor Profiles: The teas from Ilam Estate are known for their complex and nuanced flavor profiles. They often have a combination of floral, fruity, and muscatel notes, with a well-balanced astringency.

  • Cultural Significance: Ilam District, where the estate is located, has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its diverse ethnic communities, including the Limbu, Rai, and Gurung people. The tea industry plays a significant role in the local economy and provides employment opportunities for many in the region.

Our Kathmandu tea, has a pronounced "muscatel" flavor. Some tea drinkers describe this as a perfume like character, while others might describe it as "over-fired or oaky." The muscatel flavor is the natural taste of the tea which becomes more pronounced during April (light tasting with astringency and intense flavor) and June (intense flavor and more body). This flavor is created by several factors including the altitude, the soil conditions of the Himalayas, the temperature and the weather patterns, along with the originating species of the bush (Chinese origin or Indian origin), and fermenting techniques.

Ilam Estate's commitment to producing high-quality, artisanal teas, along with its emphasis on sustainable practices, has contributed to its reputation as a distinguished tea producer in Nepal. Tea lovers often seek out Ilam Estate teas for their unique and exquisite flavors.

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