Jun Chiyabari – The Tea Garden
Development is best where it finds a way to harmoniously combine the well-tried with the progressive. This wisdom embodies the still young Jun Chiyabari tea garden in Nepal like no other comparable project. At the same time, the three pillars of the tea garden’s philosophy also are its recipe for success: quality, environment-friendly, close-to-nature cultivation and the project’s social involvement on site.
Founded in 2000, the tea garden consists of various smaller patches, harmoniously embedded in the natural flora of the Himalayas. Together, they cover an acreage of about 90 hectares at altitudes between 1650 and 2200 meters. At this, the modest dimensioning of the individual gardens forms the basis for a close-to-nature cultivation in the strictest sense. Thanks to the biodiverse environment, there is no need for using pesticides and the highly potent Himalayan terroir fully unfolds in the tea of the garden.
In implementing its philosophy, Jun Chiyabari is breaking new ground in quite some ways. An example of this would be the unique combination of Taiwanese processing technology and traditional craftsmanship. Or the fact that the tea gardens were planted with a mix of different cultivars, so that virtually every tea from Jun Chiabari is “naturally a blend”. And the postulated social responsibility manifests in an impressive list of community-based projects initiated and / or actively promoted by the tea garden. These range from initiatives in the area of general education to skill trainings and guidance on income generation through to a care-and-respect project for elderly people.
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Jun Chiyabari Himalayan Black – The Tea
From a special tea garden comes a special tea. This, at least, is the thesis advocated by pioneers such as the founders of Jun Chiyabari tea garden. And the garden’s Himalayan Black tea appears as a more than convincing verification of the same. Not just any black tea, and not even trying to copy Darjeeling, or Assam, for that matter. Rather, this tea melts the experiences gathered by its producers in tea production areas around the world, including countries such as Japan and Taiwan. Ultimately, however, what you’ll taste, once in the cup, is purest, finest Nepal…
The special manufacturing, careful hand processing and precise oxidation reflect in the dry tea leaves. Long and slightly twisted, with a variety of copper-to-golden color tips, they unfold in the infusion to their pristine original shape. The cup exudes a pointedly spicy fragrance that already anticipates part of the immanent taste experience. The latter in turn presents itself as full-bodied, expressive, with mild-sweet caramel and cocoa notes and a splash of malt.
First pour 200ml of boiling water over 4g Jun Chiyabari Himalayan Black tea leaves, or accordingly. Then let the infusion rest for 2-3 minutes for a full-bodied, mild to well spicy first infusion. Although the characteristic subtleties of this tea slightly fade in a second infusion, such is still definitely still worth it!
Nepal is the new Darjeeling?
The history of tea cultivation in Nepal reaches back to the middle of the 19th century. Back then, tea from Ilam, Nepal’s first tea growing region, soon gained a reputation for black teas of to decent quality. However, just like in neighboring Darjeeling, a lot has happened in recent years here, too. Thus, the general trend in Nepal is towards partial oxidation processing and experimenting in green and white teas. Despite these parallels, however, extraordinary invidual projects such as Jun Chiyabari best express the unique character of Nepalese tea.
Find more top quality teas from Darjeeling, Assam and Nepal here: