Having had the recent pleasure of helping my humans try a sample of tea from the Nahorhabi tea garden, and having found it quite satisfactory, I also wanted to take a bit of a virtual tour of the garden to see what could be seen. Come along with me, dear tea loving humans. TOOOT!
First of all, the Nahorhabi garden is part of the Jayshree company. They own a number of tea gardens, including in Assam and West Bengal, India. While some might think that a tea garden as part of a large company means the tea is not special, nothing could be further away from that idea than the sample we tried. Jayshree encourages each garden to meet certain standards, especially for safety and quality in their teas, but also in raising the bar on taste.
Assam teas are largely produced as CTC (crush, tear, curl) and generally considered low quality. They are mainly the Camellia sinensis assamica varietal family, with leaves that are generally larger and tougher than the Camellia sinensis sinensis varietal family. In CTC form they are especially prone to infuse up a bitter cup, so the expedient of adding milk and sugar came along (a habit adopted by many in Britain, as well). Orthodox processing is also done but in smaller quantities. They can be less prone to bitterness, which is wonderful for making iced teas and for drinking the tea hot without anything added to it. They can also serve, though, as a great base for flavored black teas, especially masala chais (spiced teas).
The sample we tried had mostly black leaves with some tan (“golden”) leaves. A tippy tea that yielded one of the best tastes for Assam black teas we have experienced. When infused for 3 minutes in water heated to a boil, the tea had that malty, plummy flavor expected by lovers of Assam teas. We enjoyed every mouthful straight without any sweetener and definitely without milk. We infused a second teaspoon of leaves in a separate trial, this time for 5 minutes. Some slight edginess in the aftertaste came through but nothing two alarming, and a touch of milk and sweetener brought out a deeper malty character. Such a delight for those of you who love Assam black tea!
About the Nahorhabi Estate
The name “Nahorhabi” comes from the fact that nahor trees used to grow in the area. The new leaves on the tree in Spring time have a sparkling red color, giving it a look said by many to be majestic. The tree can grow to about 90-95 feet high. It is also known as Mesua, Ceylon ironwood, Indian rose chestnut, Cobra’s saffron, Na, and Nahar. The tree is native to India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Nahorhabi Estate is in the Assam state of India but also very near to the state of Nagaland. The estate is in the Shivasagar District; the famous Shiva Temple is there and draws pilgrims from all over India. Jayshree Tea and Industries Ltd. acquired the estate in 1955. They invested a lot of time and money into helping the estate improve and grow. Hectares under tea cultivation tripled (gross yield is just over 1300 tons annually), and the estate received one of the first ISO 9002 certificates for growing, processing, and marketing of Orthodox and CTC teas. They were also one of the first tea estates in the world for Orthodox tea processing. Jayshree maintains a dense forest on one side of the garden and continually plants new trees in other areas. Their stewardship is top-notch as are the owner/management relations with all who work and/or live on the estate.
We hope you’ll try some and let us know if you agree.
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Hi, humans, this site is under my editorial excellence. I, your lovable and sassy Little Yellow Teapot, authors articles on tea, etc., and edit the occasional guest article. All in the interest of helping you humans have a better tea experience. TOOOT!