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The Meghalaya Cloud Pearl is composed of handpicked foraged rhododendron petals and whole leaf black tea that is artisanally woven into a beautiful pearl. Allow the leaves to unfurl, and the wonderful flavors will infuse to give a sublime cup. Initial notes of hibiscus, smoke, river silt, forest, and hay give way to plum, grapes and rosé wine in the later steeps. We find this experimental pearl exciting and magical with many lovely, enthralling notes.
In March 2022, one of our highlights of our trip to India was the organic small tea farmers conference, where we met a woman tea farmer from the Khasi tribe in Meghalaya - Riba. Riba is an extremely proficient teamaker, and her father who is the village naturopath has passed on his knowledge to her. She is great and her entrepreneurial skills have helped uplift the people in her village. The home that Riba resides in is surrounded by forests from where the locals forage for food and natural remedies, and a gorgeous tea garden where she uses organic practices to manufacture excellent tea. The red pink rhododendron flowers bloom in the forest in early spring and Riba handpicks them from the forest. She then carefully plucks the choicest two leaves and a bud from the tea plants followed by careful oxidation without breakage to produce a whole leaf black tea. The rhododendron petals and black tea are then painstakingly hand woven into a gorgeous pearl.
The red-pink rhododendron, also known as buransh in Hindi, contains Quercetin which is a plant flavonol and is known in Ayurveda for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, immune boosting properties.
Black tea, rhododendron
Number of infusions per tea pearl/serving - 3-5
Quantity 4-5 fl-oz (120-150 ml or 1/2 - 2/3rd cup) 90°C - 99°C (195°F - 210°F)
The Clouded Leopard is the state animal of Meghalaya and an extremely shy, nocturnal, and tree-dwelling species. It is endangered with only about 10,000 remaining in the wild.