Origin: Coonoor, India
Garden: Tea Studio
Infusion Suggestion: 210°F, 2.5min
Tasting Notes: Dried apricots and Fruit Compote
Indi’s Gold: This uplifting black tea is slightly tart and naturally sweet with tangy aromas of dried apricots and mediterranean fruits.
This sunny Nilgiri black tea is one of the signature teas of Indi Khanna and Tea Studio. Always pushing the bar of traditional Indian teas– Khanna made Indi’s Gold suggestive of Mediterranean fruits and flavors. Nilgiri teas are inherently difficult to over-steep, making them favorites for iced teas.
Taste: Indi’s Gold’s fruity tartness, which is embedded in its amber glow, sets it apart from traditional black teas. The tea is complex, yet surprisingly bright and light making it a nice addition to any black tea collection. Unlike most Indian black teas which can leave one’s mouth feeling dry, Indi’s Gold is smooth and gentle. The tea's apricot sweetness and tang leaves the tea drinker both refreshed and energized.
Production: Indi’s Gold is produced by letting the leaf wither overnight in deep troughs. With hot air blowing up through the green material - the tea leaf is taken to a 65% wither. Once achieved, the tea is both machine and hand-rolled by two to three different processes until it reaches the desired shape. Tea Studio is excited to be bringing Chinese processing techniques to Indian gardens and tea leaves.
Region: The Nilgiri region contain’s India’s southern-most mountains. While the district is only slightly larger than Darjeeling, it produces nearly four times as much tea. The prolific growth can be attributed to the lush tropical climate. Unlike other regions, most of the land is owned by small growers who sell their green leaf to “bought leaf” factories. Nigiri teas are generally known to be less bitter as they contain fewer tannins than most china bush teas.
Growers: Tea Studio is a state of the art processing facility in the Nilgiris run Muskan Khanna. Her father, Indi, has been producing fine Indian teas for decades, however Muskan was interested in incorporating traditional Chinese methods into their production in order to create high quality, one-of-a-kind teas. Under Muskan’s leadership, the factory is currently run and operated exclusively by a team of women – rare for the tea industry. In addition, Tea Studio is also an educational space designed to host groups and teach professionals how to make fine whole leaf teas. Read more about Muskan’s Journey.
Impact: With the creativity and expertise employed at Tea Studio – the breadth and interest of Indian teas continue's to expand. Though education and professional development, more small growers will have access to the resources they need to process high quality teas in the specialty tea world. In an industry dominated by middle aged men, Muskan represents a youthful energy and face that will be essential if tea will continue to survive in rural India.