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Located in North East India, Assam is the largest tea growing region in India, spanning both side of the Brahmaputra river. The region receives high amount of rainfall and experiences high temperature creating a hot and humid environment that is responsible for the malty nature of the Assam Teas. The tea also has a rich body with vibrant color due to the high amount of tannins and polyphenols present in the leaves. The Assam teas found a great favor with the British taste when they first appeared in the mid-nineteenth century. The brisk finish and the strong base make this...

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Eagerly awaited by the tea lovers of the world, the spring harvest is called the first flush. It usually starts at the end of February and ends around end-April. Through out winter, while the tea bushes are dormant, their shoots store up essential oils. The first plucks of the year contain a large proportion of these high-quality essential oil rich young buds, known as the “golden tips”. These early leaves are usually more delicate and tender and therefore more light, floral, fresh and brisk in flavor. To preserve the spring leaf flavor, first flush Darjeeling teas are generally less oxidized...

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The story goes that an army from Jianxi entered in the Fujian province in China and camped at a nearby tea factory. Due to the unexpected visit, the farmers were caught off-guard. They didn’t have time to process the plucked tea leaves and inadvertently left the tea leaves out in the sun much longer than usual, thus causing those leaves’ color to turn in deep red. To salvage those leaves, the farmers placed the leaves over a fire of pine wood resulting in a deep, smoky flavored tea. And thus, BLACK TEA was born! Black tea continued to be popular...

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The short answer is “it depends”. Depending on the type of teas and the storage condition, the shelf life of tea can be from a few months to 2-3 years. The more fermented and intact the dried leaves are, the longer they will last. Black tea leaves are more fermented than green or white, and oolong is somewhere in between. Measures of intactness vary from whole leaf, to broken leaf, to fannings and dust. Those rich in top notes (floral or other aromatic varieties) deteriorate more rapidly than the more opulent teas where base notes predominate (woody). The right storage...

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Classifying aromas and odors are not easy and it comes with practice. Our memories retain traces of smells and every other form of sensation. When we smell something, our brain can easily replay whatever is associated with that sensation but fails to prompt us a name – that’s why it is better to associate with the vocabularies to express ourselves properly. There are two major forms of vocabulary. The vocabulary of Organic Chemistry, which is difficult to understand and convey if you or your audience has not studied it. The second one, a more common image-based approach, is inspired by...

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