- Nonsuch Background
- Black Tea Preparation
Grown at 5,000 feet above sea level in the Nilgiri region of South Central India, Nonsuch is one of the nicest teas produced in the area. It has pronounced orange blossom-like flavor with a light golden cup. Best enjoyed in the early morning or as a refreshing afternoon tea.
Ingredients: Artisan black tea
Origin: India, Nilgiri Region
In the world tea trade South Indian tea is highly valued. The estates are quite small and each estate's taste profile is quite different from one another. During earlier times the USSR was very active in the weekly tea auction in Cochin, bidding up prices to high levels. Due to the high prices achieved at auction the South Indian tea estates maintained good husbandry and production practices that allow them to receive a return that is generally higher than most other tea growing areas.
Nilgiri is a mountainous region of Tamil Nadu State in southeastern India. The peaks of the Nilgiris rise abruptly from the surrounding plains to an elevation of 5000 - 8500 feet above sea level. Tea was first planted on an experimental basis in 1835 and the first commercial tea garden was at Thiashola Tea Garden, which began operations in 1859. The tea at Thiashola was cultivated by Chinese prisoners of war, captured by the British during the Opium Wars.
The climate of the Nilgiris allows tea to be produced all year round. The first flushes of the new season are picked from April until May and account for about 25% of the region's total harvest. The 2nd flush - accounting for about 40-45% of the yearly crop is from Sept. to Nov., and lastly the third flush is from Dec. to Jan. The best teas are produced during January and August.
Water Temperature: Just off the Boil (205 degrees)
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1 tsp. to 1 Tbl.(2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 2--4 minutes
Number of Infusions: 1
When measuring it is best to weigh your tea. (I use a small pocket scale. We have a few or you can get good inexpensive scales at Old Will Knotts) Measuring volume with a teaspoon or tablespoon is not accurate because whole leaf teas take up much more space than broken, graded teas.
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. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." However, 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.