October 23, 2020

Cupping Notes - Issue 4 - Tasting Tips

Tea areas of Nepal

By John Taylor of HIMCOOP

Along with Suresh Limbu of Mist Valley Tea Estate and Udaya Chapahain of Gorkha Tea Estate, ITCC welcomed John Taylor – Chairman of HIMCOOP as new members at the Xiamen International Tea Fair in October 2014. ITCC asked John Taylor to introduce some of the special features of Nepal teas.

Nepal teas are relatively new in the global tea market but are getting more recognition day by day. The Nepal tea industry has grown tremendously in the last decade and this has been mainly because of the entry of entrepreneurial businesses from the private sector. The core product is still Orthodox SFTGFOP1 but a lot of specialty teas are expected to be produced in the future. Tea quality has improved with each passing year and is expected to continue.

95% of the fresh plucked, green leaf come from small scale farmers who sell the leafs directly to factories or through cooperatives to factories. 97% of tea bushes are Darjeeling clone cultivars.

Three major growing districts are:

1) Ilam

2) Dhankuta

3) Panchthar

The main regions for both quantity and quality are Ilam and Dhankuta but quality and production volumes are expected to improve in the Panchthar district in the coming years.

ILAM: Almost 90% of teas come from this district. It mainly produces orthodox teas – mainly high withered, medium fermented teas with a greenish appearance in the leaf. Liquors colors are light, golden brown with fresh, rich flowery aromas. Recently, trends are changing with the introduction of small Chinese manufacturing units that process specialty teas. Therefore, a lot more specialty teas are expected in the future from this district.

Himalayan Shangri-La Tea Producers is one of the prominent factories in this region producing quality teas – both orthodox and specialty teas. They have got recognition for their SFTGFOP1S and Green teas and are making a mark with their GOLD and WHITE teas.

The Gold, known as the SHANGRI-LA GOLD is beautifully processed, hand sorted and fully oxidized dry leaf consisting exclusively of golden tips with strong, heavy, fruit and chocolate aroma. The liquors are deep brown in color, full, round, chocolate taste with tones of chestnuts and a long, sweet woody after taste.

The White, known as the SHANGRI-LA WHITE is hand processed leaf containing long, slightly rolled and oxidized unbroken tips which are very delicate and soft with tones of fruits. Bright green-gold liquors.

DHANKUTA: is a region that has got recognition all over the world for its quality and especially, for it’s Specialty teas.

Guranse has gained worldwide recognition for its teas. Kuwapani too is improving with each year.

Guranse does White, Greens and has made a mark with its handrolled teas. The HANDROLLED FLORAL is beautifully processed, carefully hand rolled unbroken dry leaves consisting of young downy tips with medium oxidation levels . Liquor is bright golden green with excellent balance. It has freshly fruity taste with tones of citrus and cinnamon.

Kuwapani has got recognition for its MAKULU range of teas which are highly oxidized, full and round with woody notes.

John Taylor


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