Notes of barrel-aged whiskey, oak with a hint of caramel
Black Tea from Manipur, India / Harvested in March 2018 / Wild
At 1000m, the leaves for this tea were foraged in the wild mountains of Manipur, where it continues to grow naturally dating back to the British rule. The growing region is rather isolated with favourable conditions that allow these wild tea leaves to flourish – un-pruned and unfurnished by any commercial entity.
This tea stands out from the average smoked tea as it achieves balance between its subtle smoke character, sweetness, and texture. Picking these tea leaves is a laborious and difficult process due to the sheer height and size of the trees and terrain. Local artisans rely on tea, or “thing pi” in the native dialect for economic survival; along with other forest produce and wood lumbering.
Over a week span, our teamaker monitors and nurtures these leaves through the natural ecosystem of the forest mountain. It is naturally withered and hand-rolled, before being sundried under extreme heat. Unlike heavily, smoked dried teas over pinewood like Lapsang Souchong; these leaves absorb the smoke notes from charcoal drying and heat from the Sun. The smoky swirls rising from the flames carry a signature aroma reminiscent of foods being cooked in a tandoor oven.
The process was completed by us through four months of aging which wanes the smoke character. The end result is truly divine, imparting a slightly sweet, delicate smoke flavour, with notes of barrel-aged whiskey, oak and caramel.