Location, Cultivation, Processing
The picturesque Phuguri Tea Estate is certified organic and HAACP certified. The 1,070ha-large estate stretches down the Mirik Valley at the foot of the Himalayas at an elevation of 1,000-1,800m above sea level. The slopes face northeast, receive high rainfall, and benefit from a cold microclimate that fosters the growth of robust tea plants with a rich flavour. During harvest, only the best 2 leaves and bud are hand-picked and processed according to strict quality standards.
The fresh tea leaves from the autumn harvest are selected according to length and then naturally withered to remove excess moisture. The tea is machine rolled to open up the leaves and promote fermentation. Older machines are maintained at great expense to guarantee the development of an authentic aroma. The fermentation process lasts a slightly above average length of time and is constantly monitored to ensure an optimal flavour bouquet. In the last stage, the leaves are fully dried in an oven for 23 minutes and hand-packed into tea crates.
The Phuguri Estate grows its own cultivar, the "tippy clonal" that is well-known for its rich and long aftertaste. This cultivar is considered one of the best in the region. Roughly 2% of the tea bushes are replaced each year.
The tea is always orthodoxly fermentation without machine-breakage of the leaves (CTC - crush, tear, curl).
This tea is exclusively sourced from the above mentioned tea farm in Mirik, Darjeeling, India. Sourced directly from the tea estate.