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Mokalbari Assam Tea
Our Price: $5.50

Assams give us the traditional, full-bodied brews many of us associate with tea.  This black tea has a rich malty taste, with a caramel-like sweetness. An excellent cuppa!

Assam teas are low grown and come from a local indigenous tea variety, Camellia Sinensis Assamica.  Assamica is cousin to the Chinese variety grown around the world, and has much bigger, broader leaves.  Assams are not usually associated with harvesting seasons like Darjeelings, but we can tell you this tea was picked in the late summer from the east side of the garden. Mokalbari tea estate was started in 1917, and has expanded rapidly from its initial 42 acres.  We favor the orthodox tea as it gives a sweeter brew.  

Handles milk and sugar well, or delicious on its own.
Marybong Darjeeling First Flush
Our Price: $6.50

Darjeelings, by their very nature, are defined by choices. The first comes with the picking season, determining whether the tea is a first flush or a second flush. Another choice occurs during the preparation of first flush teas. Marybong estate creates a more oxidized version, while others, like Gopaldhara, favor a lighter fermentation, this darker oxidation period results in a more peppery and zesty brew. Located in the “Golden Valley” of Darjeeling, the Marybong estate has gardens up to 1970m in altitude and has about 700 acres in production. This is one of a growing number of organic Darjeeling teas This first flush Darjeeling is flavorful with a mild astringency, boasting traces of freshly cut green peppers and tart cherries. This tea is truly unique, and as such does require a special brewing method: it is best to not use boiling water, but rather boiled water that has cooled for about 1-2 minutes.

**We are proud to source this tea; it was one of the reasons I fell in love with Darjeelings!
Margaret's Hope Darjeeling Second Flush
Our Price: $7.00

This second flush from the Margaret's Hope estate is a classic example of a Darjeeling. Darjeelings are recognized for their distinctive muscatel taste and aroma unique to the region. Margaret's Hope reached acclaim in the 1930's when it set the highest quality and price of Darjeeling teas <1>. Second flushes are the second harvest in the region, starting in May each year. They are also the most popular of the flushes, as the tell tale muscatel taste is at its peak.

While much has changed since the 1930's, Margaret's Hope remains a staple standard of Darjeeling teas. To many, with its delicious fruit notes and mild astringency, Margaret's Hope is what a Darjeeling should taste like.

<1> Banerjee, Gangadhar, and Srijeet Banerjee. Darjeeling Tea The Golden Brew. Lucknow: International Book Distributing Co., 2007. Print.

Gopaldhara Darjeeling First Flush
Our Price: $7.50

Darjeelings, by their very nature, are defined by choices.  The first comes with the picking season, determining whether the tea is a first flush or a second flush.  This particular example is a first flush picked from the Gopaldhara tea estate that grows on slopes as high as 7000 ft.  One of the larger estates at 172 ha, Gopaldhara was one of the first tea estates to commercially introduce oolongs, white teas, and autumn and frost pickings. Given this, Gopaldhara is leading the Darjeeling tea market into uncharted waters.

Another choice occurs during the preparation of first flush teas. Some estates create a more oxidized version, while others, like Gopaldhara, favor a lighter fermentation, resulting in a greener, more delicate brew.  This first flush Darjeeling is flavorful with a mild astringency, boasting traces of mango and other tropical fruits.

This tea is truly unique, and as such does require a special brewing method: it is best to not use boiling water, but rather boiled water that has cooled for about 3-5 minutes.  Freshly boiled water will burn the tea leaves!
Coonoor Estate Nilgiri
Our Price: $11.00

Nilgiri black teas are predominately known for a delicate flavor. For this reason, they are often used as the base in flavored teas. This tea from the Coonoor Tea Estate is a delicious exception. This tea has the most complex flavors we have tasted from south India , and are proud to support this unique estate in their efforts.

Beautifully hand-rolled long leggy tea leaves that unfurl as they are brewed. Produces a brew that tastes of delicious brambly jam and stone fruits. An almost buttery aroma with a faint malt, reminded us of freshly baked bread. Follows through with a light pinewood edge at the end. A delicate tea that is still robust and brings the terroir of the soil.
Singbulli Oolong Darjeeling Organic
Our Price: $11.00

While the Darjeeling province is renowned for their black teas, this unique oolong shows the level of diversity these fine estates can muster.  To make this oolong, smaller batches are prepared and processed in a unique manner, creating a darker oxidized brew. Smaller batches ensure a high quality and taste, while the partial oxidization gives a unique nutty taste along with a muscatel aroma.  Tightly twisted and rolled leaves create the tea's bronze-color, with a high number of tips.

Singbulli is an organic tea estate established in 1924.  It has recently applied for Fair Trade certification, and is committed to maintaining a high level of quality in tea.
Balasun Darjeeling Second Flush
Our Price: $15.00

This second flush from the Balasun estate is a classic example of a Darjeeling. Darjeelings are recognized for their distinctive muscatel taste and aroma unique to the region. The Balasun estate is named after the Balasun river, and was founded in 1871. Second flushes are the second harvest in the region, starting in May each year. They are also the most popular of the flushes, as the tell tale muscatel taste is at its peak. With 450 acres in production, Balasun is planted with a majority of original cultivar/sub-species Camellia Sinensis sinensis. Ranging in altitude from the bottom of the river, to a height of 1375 meters, this estate covers a wide diverse growing clime.

Balasun currently has the best muscatel taste we have found in current Darjeelings and second best of all the Darjeelings we have ever tried. That being said, it is also the most temperamental. We do not suggest this tea for beginners due to the price. While we are reluctant to post brewing instructions, our advice is to brew around 5-6 grams in .5 litres of water at a temperature of around 205-210. Timing on this tea is critical, but around 3-4 minutes of brewing. When we are brewing this tea for ourselves; we suggest watching and smelling the tea to try and pin-point the perfect moment. Again this tea is very temperamental, but the reward is an amazing muscatel brew better than some wines. Do not overbrew, as will become very astringent. One of our 'grand cru' teas!