DARJEELING OKAYTI ESTATE WHITE
This month we have a premium loose white tea from the Darjeeling region in India. It is quite unique to have a white tea from Darjeeling.
WELCOME TO TWININGS TEA TASTERS
This month on Tea Tasters we have an absolute treasure for you: Darjeeling Okayti Estate White. This is a refreshing, well balanced and superbly luxurious white tea with soft citrus undertones from the Darjeeling region.
The area was commercially established in 1856 and since then it has developed and created some of the world’s finest teas.
DARJEELING OKAYTI ESTATE WHITE
A refreshing well balanced and superbly luxurious white tea produced by the Okayti Garden in Darjeeling. The Garden sits on the Darjeeling border with Nepal and has been producing fantastic quality teas since the 1880s.
The tea displays beautifully selected leaves that boast a gentle aromatic sweetness. The flavour is complemented and bound together by delicate undertones of soft luxury citrus fruits. The lingering flavour in the mouth make this tea a sheer delight.
DARJEELING OKAYTI ESTATE WHITE LOOSE TEA VIDEO
This month the fabulous Oliver Tilney talks us through this rare premium Darjeeling White Loose Tea.
THIS TEA HAS BEEN SOURCED BY MASTER TEA BLENDER/BUYER GEORGINA DURNFORD
Georgina has been on an amazing journey tasting the nuances of the high quality green teas from around the world. She has spent this season visiting the producers and slurping her way through hundreds of possible teas to give you the best the season has to offer.
THE STORY BEHIND DARJEELING OKAYTI ESTATE WHITE
OKAYTI IN DARJEELING, NORTH EAST INDIA, IS A VERY SPECIAL TEA ESTATE
It’s quite unique to have a white tea from Darjeeling – and we think nobody does it better than Okayti Garden. The sizeable plantation stretches between altitudes of 4,000 and 6,200 feet and was originally developed in 1870. At the time it was called the Rangdu Garden, then in 1880 it changed its name to Okayti.
THE REASON BEHIND THIS NAME CHANGE?
The answer lies in the plantation’s rich royal history. Apparently, when this tea was served at Buckingham Palace it was called an ‘Okay tea’ which became the ‘Okayti’ we know today.
HARVEST & PROCESS
With white teas, the leaves generally come from the youngest and most tender part of the tea plant. They are plucked or picked and then allowed to dehydrate. So in most cases the leaves are not fully developed, meaning they’ve not opened.
As the tea plant yearns to survive, a lot of the nutrients and flavours find their way to the very extremities of the bush. This makes the flavour that extra bit more intense and you can look forward to sampling a particularly tasty tea.
MAKING THE TEA
Now, let’s make some Okayti, have a little taste and see what it holds. Use 1 teaspoon per person and 1 for the pot. Add freshly boiled spring water that has cooled slightly to approximately 80°C. Using boiling water may scald the leaves which could prevent them from releasing all their flavour.
Once you’ve poured on your water, you’ll need to wait around 3 minutes or a little longer if you like a stronger tea. If the teapot has a central diffusion chamber, gently agitate it before serving.
This tea can be steeped 3 to 4 times.
TASTING NOTES AND FLAVOUR WHEEL: LOOK – SMELL – TASTE
As you pour you’ll already be able to see the tea’s magnificent colour. Ranging from a dark straw to a medium dark champagne, this is a beautiful transparent colour.
The aroma is absolutely captivating, with a hint of damp straw and strawberry. This tea carries a very delicate muscatel flavour to it, which you might not normally find in other white teas.
What’s even more interesting is, this tea develops into being floral and somewhat fruity. They’re not words that we often use side by side when tasting tea. So take in the floral and fruity notes, but then notice how there is a nice, nutty length to it.
When you smell and taste your tea, why not use the Twinings flavour wheel and see what aromas and tastes you come up with. First of all, before your nostrils come close to the tea liquor, just smell the back of your hand as this helps to cleanse your palette.
For this tasting we have used our Telja teapot. This fine glass pot invites you to look at the tea unfurling and pours so perfectly that we felt the need to mention this here specifically.