Review: Lochan Teas Jungpana FTGFOP 1 Organic 1st flush 2012 Darjeeling

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea Add comments
MaryAnn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Raucous in the roof of my mouth – green and edgy. First infusion wild as early Kandinsky paintings. Crazy but not jangly. Given repeated addictive tastings, endearing."
MaryAnn’s Teaview: 9.2/10
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Alluvial soil and difficult terrain produce this unique and delightful first flush, plucked after the first spring rains to mark the end of the long Himalayan winter. From the remote Jungpana Estate, tucked away at the ‘back of beyond' on rugged mountainside at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 ft., surrounded by pine forests on the upper reaches to the north, and swiftly gurgling mountain streams to the south, east and west, skirted by dense vegetation. FTGFOP 1 = Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe, first grade.

Dry leaves: many leaves quite green, beautifully mixed with dark leaves, odor fresh and grassy layered on top of honeysuckle and toast.

I brewed one tsp. leaves at 194 degrees F for 4 minutes. The liquor is golden and the aroma woodsy earthy Darjeeling.

Tasting experience: This light golden amber tea is alive. Nutty. Full of tannins, its astringency complexified by changes in taste darting about to different mouth locations during the tasting experience. I can taste the wildness of the estate – said to harbor the Himalayan bear, leopards, deer, rare birds and butterflies. Raucous in the roof of my mouth – green and edgy. First infusion wild as early Kandinsky paintings. Crazy but not jangly. Given repeated addictive tastings, endearing.

The garden got its start with the work of Henry Montgomery, a British expatriate who planted the first bushes in 1899. A series of owners have had it in their trust over the last hundred years, the Kejriwal family since 1956. Even by mountain standards the Jungpana garden is particularly hard to get to. Until recently there was no road—the tea came out and supplies went in only by mule. Today the tea still has to be carried down 500 feet on 380 concrete steps to get to the road.

Lochan Tea serves as a merchant for the Jungpana estate teas as well as producing tea from its Doke garden and providing training to European students. This tea was recently harvested and is not currently listed on their web page. Contact Vivek Lochan through the company web site if you’re interested in this tea (you can bet I'll be doing that).

— To purchase Lochan Teas Jungpana FTGFOP 1 Organic 1st flush 2012 Darjeeling, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: MaryAnn MaryAnn
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