Darjeeling - Happy Valley Estate
Happy Valley's elevation produces a stunning tea with notes of muscatel, toast, wine and subtle peach. An exceptional Darjeeling.
HEALTH PROPERTIES: High in anti-oxidants
ETHICS: Ethical Tea Partnership & GMO Free
GRADE: Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (TGFOP)
CAFFEINE LEVELS: Medium
TEA SOURCING: Happy Valley Estate, Darjeeling, India.
THE STORY OF DARJEELING - HAPPY VALLEY ESTATE
The Darjeeling region in India produces some of the worlds most iconic teas. Estate teas like Happy Valley are so called as they are grown and processed on one particular estate. Each has a distinct local taste.
In terms of tea producing pedigree, Happy Valley has virtually no peer. Located just outside the town of Darjeeling, the 437-acre estate sits in the mist-shrouded heights of the Himalayas no fewer than 6800 ft, (2100 m) above sea level. The grounds were first planted by an Englishman, David Wilson, who named it Wilson Tea Estate, planting the first tea bushes in 1854. By 1860, the estate had begun to produce finished tea and word of its quality quickly spread throughout the British Empire. In 1903, the Wilson estate was purchased by an Indian aristocrat from Hooghly named Tarapanda Banerjee. In 1929 Banerjee purchased neighbouring Windsor Tea Estate, merged it with Wilson and changed the name to Happy Valley. Things ran along swimmingly until the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union saw India's export market nosedive and with it the ability to modernize and improve estate conditions. (For much of the 20th century, the USSR was the primary destination for the bulk of Indian tea production.)
By the dawn of the millenium, it was touch and go in the estate. The tea bushes, which were between 80 and 150 years old, weren't being properly maintained and the factory belonged in a museum. The new management team immediately set about caring for the estate's heritage tea bushes, steadily bringing them back to a pristine state and built a new factory to ensure that the freshly plucked dwi paat suiro, 2 leaves and a bud, would be produced in a manner befitting their exceptional character. Nowadays, Happy Valley's output is considered by many tasters to be better than it has been in over 100 years. We're very pleased to offer this 2nd flush TGFOP as a testament to this fine estate. The exceptionally fine leaf displays all the hallmarks of Darjeeling's finest - lush muscatel notes, soft tones of honey and lightly balanced astringency - an exceptional cup, guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any Darjeeling lover.
BREWING INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOT TEA: Infuse one slightly heaping teaspoon for each 8 ounce cup with boiling water for 3-7 minutes.
Infuse 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of tea with 1 1/4 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water, and add the infused tea, straining the leaves, to the pitcher. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Add lemon and sweeten to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.
Infuse 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea with 6 ounces of boiling water for 5 minutes. Add the tea to a 12 ounce glass, filled with ice, straining the leaves. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the tea or removing the bags. Add lemon and sweeten to taste.
NUMBER OF CUPS: 15-20 cups from each 50 grams of tea, with a single use of the leaves. Loose leaf tea is traditionally infused 3 times, with a different flavor profile following each infusion. Accordingly, each 50 gram bag can make up to 60 cups of tea.