This rare Oolong from Rohini Tea Garden in Darjeeling is one of the unique tea we found from the 2020 season. This tea is made from the early second flush harvest in May 2020, as there is abundance of snowy silvery buds on display. The leaves are harvested from the very old China variety of the tea bushes, that offers the distinctive floral and muscatel notes. Particularly this Oolong is delightfully fragrant with peach and honey notes. Although Darjeeling is not known for its Oolong teas, we were pleasantly surprised with the beautiful and complex flavours this tea offers with honey sweet, peach and mildly spicy with cardamom note to end.
The added honey like sweetness is due to the dry weather pattern but low humidity with cold mornings, aided by the greenfly insect that bite on the leaves. As a natural defence mechanism the plant, particularly the leaves produce certain chemical to deter the greenfly, that contribute to the unique sweetness and floral notes in the tea. The liquor itself is thick and light amber in colour, that doesn’t offer any bitterness or astringency, therefore this tea could be a drink that could be enjoyed any time of day. This tea could be re steeped at least twice.
In terms of leaf harvest, very selective and careful hand plucking un undertaken to make sure only the succulent tender shoots and picked. The processing is kept to minimum with gentle rolling to trigger the controlled oxidisation process up to around 45% and allowing the colour, flavour and aroma to develop before gentile drying.