Category: Black
Tea Company: Lochan Tea (website)
Ingredients: Black Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed

Most tea estates have a utilitarian-only online presence, so it’s surprising that the first search result for Glenburn Tea Estate brings up a rich, multi-layered website touting their luxury hotel, bungalows, and vacation tours. Need to relax? Make a cuppa, put your feet up and just bask in the Flash Player slide show of the rooms and grounds.

But behind the huge open porches and the colonial-style four-poster beds at Glenburn is a working tea estate producing teas that rival the quality of their accommodations. According to the website, Glenburn was “started by a Scottish tea company in 1859, [and] has now passed into the hands of one of India’s pioneering tea planting families – The Prakashes, who have over the years come to be known as the “Chaiwala family” – which literally means “tea planters.”

The first flush Glenburn Darjeeling obtained by Lochan Tea is fine—not fine as in “it’ll do;” fine as in good china and real linen tablecloths. The fresh leaves reminded me of an Assam in aroma (a little malty, a little fermented), but not in appearance–they retain a good bit of green color, along with the blond first-flush tips.

A Darjeeling-appropriate steep time (water just under boiling, about 3 minutes) results in a beautiful fruity golden tea, light to the eye and to the palate. The first taste equivalent that comes to mind is Sun-Maid golden raisins when you first open the box. The fruit tang stays on the tongue long after you swallow.

If this is the result of the best pickings of a tea garden irrigated by two snow-fed Himalayan rivers (or so Lochan Tea tells us), sign me up for more. I believe I know where I want to go on my next vacation.

You can find Lochan Teas directly from the Lochan Tea website.

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Author: GG

Written by GG

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