2011 Nepal Silver Tips Oolong

Our Nepal Silver Tips Oolong is grown at an impressively high altitude in Eastern Nepal from tea gardens whose leaf is primarily manufactured into black tea.

Tea leaf grown in throughout the Himalaya requires a long growing season, which stretches well into autumn. Because of the south-facing orientation of these tea gardens, the flush often starts in February (though more normally in March). This long growing cycle, coupled with the high elevation location and clear air, ensures tea that has clarity, richness, and body that is smooth and rich.

In terms of style, the tea artisans in the Himalaya (Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Nepal) often manufacture black tea at a reduced oxidation level that sometimes encourages roughness or sharp astringency in the cup. While this style of black tea is not favored by everyone, this inclination toward partial oxidation of the leaf becomes very desirable in this oolong. Several Nepalese producers are now introducing open leaf style oolong production as a perfect class of tea for their delicious, high-altitude leaf.

We are very excited to have this oolong. Usually we do not pay much attention to teas made by tea producing countries trying their hand at manufacturing new types of teas outside of their usual production style (which they are not skilled at making and for which their tea bush varietals may not be exactly suited!).

So it is nice to occasionally be surprised by how good one of these new teas can be. Our Nepal Silver Tips fills a niche in the ‘trinity of oolongs’ that is becoming difficult to fill as Taiwanese and Fujianese tea producers focus more on semiball-rolled and strip style oolong manufacture than on this classic, lighter and softer open leaf style. This tea is slightly reminiscent of Bai Hao or Oriental Beauty from Taiwan, and we recommend it to those who prefer this style of oolong.

We think that this tea is simply delicious and very satisfying!