This very limited release orthodox second flush black tea hails from the Chota Tingrai Estate, Tinsukia Dist., Assam State, in partnership with Mana Organics.
We had the incredible fortune to visit the Chota Tingrai Tea Estates in Assam, India, back in early March, 2020. The day we toured the factory, Mr. Naqvi, Estate Manager, and Mr. Lekhar, Ass’t. Factory Manager, were cupping First Flush “Dryer Mouth”, which is the industry term for unsorted tea that has just been released from the mouth of the tea dryer after the final drying stage. The tea was maybe an hour old and had the maltiest, freshest aroma and flavor.
Mr. Naqvi emphatically prefers pure, freshly-made, un-graded teas. In his words, “It’s the liquor!” (“Liquor” is the industry term for brewed tea) and he prefers this unsorted tea because its liquor gives the widest - and truest - flavor spectrum. If he had his way, tea would only be sold in this form.
As such, the leaves are very rustic in appearance, which makes sense, as they comprise every component - whole, broken, dust, and everything in between - of the day’s plucking. Prior to grading, a portion of this tea is cupped to critique the quality of the production and is not, until now, made available for sale. (This also explains why the term “Dryer Mouth” is not used outside of the industry.) Cupping the fresh tea helps the Estate Manager determine how the harvest is coming along and what, if any, tweaking might need to be done.
The most beautiful thing about this tea is that it expresses not only the true flavor of terroir, but also the skill of the everyone involved in its production. Seasonal changes will undoubtedly be more evident in subsequent batches, so we are hopeful that Origin Assam (our name for it) will be popular enough to become a regular offering at The Jasmine Pearl. We hope you enjoy the liquor as much as we do. As you sip, keep in mind that you are tasting the fullest-possible version of Assam tea. Bottoms up and cheers to Chota Tingrai Tea Estate!
Indian Black Tea*.
8 oz Cup
- Scoop a heaping teaspoon of tea into infuser.
- Heat water to 200° F (just before boiling).
- Pour 8 oz. of water over tea leaves.
- Steep tea for 3-5 minutes (depending on taste preference).
- Remove infuser and enjoy tea.
Simply add to your infuser one heaping teaspoon of leaf per 8 oz. of water and place it in your pot, then add the appropriate amount of 200° F water and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the infuser and enjoy. Also delicious with a touch of milk and sugar.
Brewing Iced Tea
Our opinion is that a cooled concentrate works best, as regular-strength brew tends to become watery as the ice melts. So, use the above leaf quantities, but half the water, allow it to cool, then pour it over ice and enjoy. The brew will dilute down to proper strength as the ice melts.