Jun, “moon”. Chiya, “tea”. Bari, “garden”.
Jun Chiyabari. Moon tea garden.
It conjures up images of an exotic place, filled with lush tea bushes bathed in the dreamy light of a full moon.
Back in 2000, 2 brothers, Bachan and Lochan Gyawali, along with a former schoolmate, manifested their “moon tea garden” dream when they established the Jun Chiyabari tea garden in the hills surrounding the small town of Hile in the eastern Himalayan region of Nepal.
Working with small, local farmers to encourage and support them in keeping ownership of their land for tea cultivation, the team’s primary focus is on quality of leaf not quantity. They pay the farmers top prices for that high quality leaf, with a markup of 50-100%, a direct benefit to this small rural community.
This morning’s tea was grown in this community.
“There is an old saying that ‘tea is made in the garden’ (as opposed to at the factory). In other words, what is produced in the garden in terms of quality, plucking, etc., will determine the nature of the end product. We take this very seriously, and from the outset we have put the small farmer at the heart of our project.” ~Bachan Gyawali
In keeping with this philosophy, the Jun Chiyabari team expanded their vision last year with the construction of the Singalila Tea factory nearby in the town of Fikkal, at an altitude of 5,662 feet above sea level. They are constantly educating themselves and their farmers in tea cultivation skills, bio-organic farming including diversity of crops and preservation of forest areas to benefit the environment.
The beautiful amber liquor glows like a jewel in my glass teapot inviting me to pour my first cup.
The cup is quite smooth with sweet, lightly floral notes. I also detect some chestnut notes reminiscent of an Oolong tea. Mmmm…
I look forward to more delicious tea from this visionary team!
Today I’m heading down to E. Bridgewater, MA where my dear friend, Judy, is teaching her Buttons & Bellishments class. I’m looking forward to a fun ART Day!
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”