- Jun Chiyabari Background
- Himalayan Black Preparation
The Colonel's plan was a success. To say that the natural environment in Nepal is perfect for tea is an understatement. How perfect is it? Consider the following poem from "The Teachings of the Buddha" in reference to the country: "Soft zephyrs pass through the trees of that Pure Land and stir the fragrant curtains of the pavilions and pass away in sweet cadences of music." "Pure Land" is the key term here. The exceptionally clean air, rich mountain soil and pure beaming sunlight produce bushes that flush 4 times per year yielding full leaves densely packed with incredible flavor.
Since the days of Colonel Thapa, the Nepalese industry has weathered various ups and downs but overall has grown considerably. Raw leaf in the country is grown by a mix small holders and larger plantations which has resulted in a good variety of sustainable employment opportunities for the Nepalese. (Interestingly, nearly 60% of tea workers employed in the Nepal are female.)
So how do the teas taste? Most professional tea tasters liken the better Nepalese teas to the top Darjeelings. This Nepal Junchi is an excellent example. The cup opens wide with the pointed muscatel bite of a Darjeeling, offset by soft round notes of wheat and moss grounded by good mouth filling astringency. A heavenly delight from the "Rooftop of the World".
Water Temperature: Just off the Boil (195--205 degrees)
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1 Tbl.(4 grams)
Steep Time: 2-5 minutes
Number of Infusions: 2-3
Steeping for 5~6 minutes at 195 - 203 degrees gives you the full taste profile. However, if you prefer more flowery aroma, use more leaves with shorter infusion time. (I use 4 grams per 6 oz water.) Please note that this is a strong tea, use the 2g to 6oz water ratio ( or less ) for plain drinking. Using the lower 195 degree temperature will produce a smoother, lighter profile with light citrus notes, while 205 degrees will result in a bolder, fuller profile. We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Leaving the tea leaves in the water will result in an over-infused, bitter tea. If you want a stronger cup of tea increase the amount of leaf rather than the steeping time. If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.