The Nilgiris, which literally translates into “Blue mountains” are located along the Western Ghats, in Southern India.
This picturesque range of high hills get their name from the Neelakurinji (strobilanthes kunthiana)
, a unique flowering shrub which blossoms once every 12 years
enveloping the mountain slopes for miles around in a purplish blue carpet.
Tea is grown on the Southern end of the Ghats on many picturesque estates which are literally draped along the slopes at high elevations.
The unique climatic conditions and stark topography of the area create the special environment which results in the Nilgiris producing a truly unique tea, fragrant with good body and a superlative flavour.
On Parkside Estate, the topographical and climatic conditions, which the Nilgiri Hills are naturally blessed with, are combined with loving care and delicate handling during the manufacture of this very special tea.
Mother Nature having timed this to perfection, the Nilgiri Parkside Frost Tea, an unusual looking tea with its green flakes and dark wiry leaf combination, arrives with the cold snap late each February so that the tea connoisseur may start the year on a fanTEAstic note.
A four minute steep using water on first boil produces a lively liquor which is an eccentric blend of green spring freshness enhanced with an interesting and smooth barley-sugar sweetness.
The cup exudes a well structured taste with balance and finesse.
The green leaf for this particular tea is especially plucked from a selected section of the Parkside Estate that is pure CR6017, a unique high quality ‘China’ type cultivar which is accepted as being amongst the top quality varietal clone of the Nilgiris.
During the months of January and February, bright and sunny days followed by cold and frosty night conditions result in the flavour compounds within the leaves being at their best. We can only add our two little bits to nature’s bounty by going in for a very fine pluck, so that only the tender most new shoots enter the factory.
Once inside the factory, a very hard wither reduces the moisture content in the leaf by as much as 65%.
Since the relatively thick stem of the CR6017 absorbs more moisture than many other cultivars, this hard wither results in the leaf-borders becoming completely dry, to the extent that the extremities of the leaf retain their green appearance and flake off during the rolling process.
It is these flakes which are responsible for the unique green characteristics of the flavour profile.
Fresh from the factory, this very distinctive tea is simply packed to be rushed by air from the garden to the buyers who have been demanding this tea, year after year!
There could not be a more wonTEAful note on which to start the year!
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