Infusion Suggestion: 4 minutes at 210oF
Certifications: USDA Organic
Caffeine Level: high
Aroma and Taste: Caramel, Cocoa,
Kumaon Black: A robust and naturally sweet finely sorted black tea from one of India’s oldest Himalayan tea gardens.
This finely sorted Himalayan tea comes from a revitalized tea region along India's western Nepali border. The abundance of golden tips carry a glowing caramel sweetness under thick cocoa flavors. This remote area is creating new distinguished flavor profiles across India’s traditional black tea landscape.
Taste: Kumaon Black is versatile and approachable no matter how you want to sip it. It is similar in strength to a morning English Breakfast for those who appreciate a robust cup. Difficult to overstep, the fruity and bitter-chocolate undertones also relax with a dash of milk or cream into a lovely cup.
Production: Black teas go through a 4-step process to become the tea that ends up in your cup: withering, rolling, oxidizing and drying. The blackening of the tea comes when the cell wall is broken and the tea leaf is exposed to oxygen. Kumaon Black is a finely sorted grade of black tea with a smattering of golden tips; these tips come from only the newest growth buds of the tea and are the hallmark of a high quality tea. Through sorting, producers can create the desired bud to leaf ration to give Kumaon Black its unique taste.
Region: Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, Kumaon lies 200 miles west of Nepal’s border and is one of the most remote regions in all of India. When the British introduced tea to India they were enticed by the acidic and well drained soils of Kumaon. The plant thrived on the mountainside slopes, but the region’s isolation made it difficult for the British to export the tea at their ports. Only today are efforts being made to reintroduce the unique and quality teas of Kumaon outside of India.
Growers: In the 1920s, a group of six families moved to Kumaon from Sri Lanka to revitalize the gardens. One of these families, the Birkbecks, has remained in Kumaon and is committed to bringing Kumaon teas to the world.
Impact: Today more than 200 Kumaon families produce more than 120,000 lbs of tea annually. Kumaon tea farmers earn 5-10 times the average rates of Indian tea farmers.