Good morning, dear tea friends! I’m very excited to introduce to you the first 2014 tea in my cup this year. It’s not a Darjeeling but a first flush offering from the Marionbarie Estate, located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in a belt of land called Terai. I’ve read that Terai, which translates to foothills, is a place of forests, savannas and grasslands, which extends into both Nepal and India.
At an elevation of 900 feet above sea level, the Marionbarie Estate was first planted in 1901. From their website:
The Garden is situated very closed to Mahananda wild-life sanctuary and wild animals such as Elephant, Leopard, Dear, Peacock, Wild Boar, Pythons, etc. are frequently seen in and around the plantation area. The Workers are educated to respect the ecology and the wildlife by the Management by doing seminars.
As you can see, the leaf is quite green even though it was processed as a black tea. This is common in first flush teas from that area.
I steeped the leaf for 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.
The fragrant aroma smells like early spring vegetation, sweet and vegetal, with notes of delicate flowers.
The tea liquor is a golden apple juice color with a very fresh, light flavor. A whisper of sugar cookie sweetens the tangy floral notes, which linger into the finish.
I feel like I’ve been encased in a white, frigid world for so long. Sipping the fresh flavor of this first flush tea is melting the ice and bringing me back to life. It is the new growth of spring. It is rebirth. It is hope.
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”