Origin: Kumaon, India
Infusion Suggestion: 170°F, 5min
Certifications: USDA Organic
Caffeine Level: Low
Tasting Notes: Sweet Cream Butter and Cucumbers
Kumaon White: A delicate Himalayan white tea with a fresh mouth finish carefully harvested as the plant wakes from winter dormancy.
This Himalayan spring tea captures the clean and floral aromas of new growth. Tea pickers carefully transport the green leaf from field to factory where it is minimally processed before being dried. These 170 year old plants are tucked in a rhododendron forest teeming with howler monkeys and meandering waterways.
Taste: While minimal processing makes most white teas delicate in taste, Kumaon White is punchy and bright in comparison to more traditional Bai Mudan, or White Peony, style teas. Straddling what traditionally defines green and white teas, this tea slips down the throat with a buttery smoothness while leaving the mouth feeling fresh, clean and bright.
Production: White teas are plucked in the spring. Great care is taken to protect the leaf from damage as it is transported from field to factory where, unlike green and black teas, it is left intact to wither and dry. The unique taste of Kumaon White can, in part, be attributed to the make-up of Kumaon soils.
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. Re-focusing their efforts in Darjeeling and Assam, the Kumaon plots were abandoned.
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, remains today in Kumaon and collaborated with Young Mountain Tea to produce Kumaon White.
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.