We are proud to work directly with the Rohini Tea Estate in Darjeeling and it is our pleasure to introduce to you one of their newest teas - Honey Oolong. We discovered this beautiful tea during lockdown but it's taken us a while to finally start shouting about it.
About the Rohini Tea Estate.
Rohini Tea Estate is located around 1000-3000ft above sea level in the Kurseong Valley. It is one of the oldest tea estates in Darjeeling with the oldest bushes being planted by the British in the 1850s. After independence the estate was abandoned by the British who were uncertain about the future and most of the land was taken over by the Indian military during the Sino-Indian war in the 1960s. Rishi Saria and his family bought the estate in 1995 and they started production again with a major amount of replanting. The estate grows over 7 different clone varieties of tea plant at various different altitudes in addition to the original China seed bushes planted when the estate was opened. By selecting the different clones and processing them in various different ways, Rohini can be a versatile tea estate with the different products they produce.
At Rohini, they have been experimenting with different clones to produce a variety of teas for a number of years and are continuously honing their art, meaning their tea keeps getting better.
A new style of Darjeeling Tea
Rishi who owns the Rohini Tea Estate has been trying to change the way darjeeling tea is made. When making the honey oolong, Rishi's team used more delicate processing methods to cut down on the bitterness. Rishi said he wanted the natural flavour of the clone to stand out. The tea has a very high content of tips because it is grown at a mid to low elevation and these tips give the tea a natural sweetness. Rishi wanted to try a new method of processing opposed to the traditional heavily oxidised black darjeeling teas.
We found the flavour of Honey Oolong to be absolutely fantastic. When we first put the dry leaves into the pot the aroma was sweet and floral with notes of spices. The leaves are beautiful and wiry thanks to the gentle processing. And the tea itself has a honey like flavour, with floral notes and the classic darjeeling muscatel flavour. A true delight. We liked it best infused with boiling water and then left to cool down for around 5 to 10 minutes so that all the nuances of the flavour come out and the tea is warm but not boiling hot.