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Mirik Valley, Darjeeling
Second Flush, June
P312, AV2, T78
Whole leaf oolong tea
Our Darjeeling Yanki Red Oolong is one of our favorite whole leaf teas and we are excited to share it with you.We were in Darjeeling in June 2022 and saw this batch being made and immediately fell in love that we needed to get it back to share with you all. The tea chi is so wonderful in our Darjeeling Red Oolong that it will make you dreamy and euphoric.
The dry leaves are beautiful curled leaves with aromas reminiscent of a fine pinot noir. On the steeping the initial steep has notes of wild flower honey, apricot, red wine, muscat grapes and yuzu. The second steeping brings about some notes of sourdough and hops. It does not turn acrid like some oolongs, but stays pleasant and leaves you to meditate on the untangling and nuanced subtle flavors. One minute you think you have tasted clove, the next dried fruit, next marzipan and apricot pits and then earthy splendidness of potatoes or chanterelles married in the pan with thyme. The third steeping the notes of yuzu, hoppy sour mash, muscat and apricot pit and marzipan mature into french sorrel, sweetened dandelion flowers and undercurrents of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. The fourth and subsequent steeps maintain these notes with the addition of dried orange peel.
This spectacular tea is made by a young, experimental tea maker Allan who spearheads Yanki Darjeeling Orthodox Small Tea Growers Welfare Society, started by his mother Yanki. We had a great time visiting their tea processing unit in June 2022 and loved how they believed in supporting their village while making some great whole leaf teas for the world to enjoy. It is high altitude tea, composed of two leaves and a bud, handpicked and after having undergone 55% withering, it is hand rolled and undergoes semi fermentation, fixed and then dried.
Number of infusions per 2.5 g (4-6)
2.5 gms (use a digital scale) of tea (use a digital scale)
195°F - 205°F (90°C - 95°C) of water at 4-5 fl-oz (120-150 ml or 1/2 - 2/3rd cup)
This tea works great for the gongfu style as it helps coax out all the subtle flavors.
We recommend 5 gm of tea
100 ml water (approximate 10-20 ml of water per 1 gm of tea) at 85°C - 90°C (or 185°F - 195°F).
This marvel is produced by Allan who is the young but dedicated tea maker of Yanki Darjeeling Orthodox Small Tea Growers Welfare Society, a small batch tea farm in Rangbang Villagestarted by Yanki, Allan’s mother. Yanki used to be a tea plucker who sold her leaves to the big tea manufacturers in the area. One day her hard work was rejected and she was told her plucked leaves were not of good quality and did not make the cut. Yanki lost a day's pay and she was heartbroken as she then was a daily wage worker. She promised at the time she would have her own small tea producing farm. She has started a cooperative, and is uplifting her fellow villagers by paying them almost four to five times what other tea manufacturing units in the area would pay for bought leaves. We love their story and are excited to collaborate with them to bring their finest teas to you. When we met Yanki she treated us to the most delicious momos and we had a wonderful time planting tea saplings with her.
Red pandas dwell in the Eastern Himalayan region of India and also in China. They are skillful acrobats that are arboreal. They are mostly herbivorous and their name comes from a Nepali word “ponya” which means one who eats bamboo. Red pandas are endangered and there are about 10,000 animals left, of which over 50% live in India.