Complex woodland and spring aromas in this special 1st flush from a little-known tea region.
The Mann garden is in the foothills of the Himalayas, in a region of India called Himachal Pradesh. Starting at Darjeeling, follow the line of the Himalayas to the north-west and you’ll go through Nepal, then back into India, in Himachal Pradesh. Many tea drinkers have never heard of teas form this region as it doesn’t receive the same attention as Darjeeling or even Nepal. The Mann tea garden has been in the same family for six generations. The garden sits at about the same elevation as some of the highest Darjeeling gardens (6,000ft), making fine, high-elevation Indian teas.
These 1st flush oolongs are made using leaf plucked at the very beginning of the 1st flush (spring) season, from China-hybrid varietals. The freshly picked tea leaves are sun withered (wilted) at first. Sun withering often gives a more layered, three-dimensional flavour compared to indoor or machine drying. The leaves are carefully hand rolled and very lightly oxidised to give a complex, expressive, light oolong, with excellent leaf shape and flavour structure.
A delicious medley of woodland aromas. You can taste the freshness of the air and nature during the early spring when this tea was picked. There are hints of young flowers, unripe fruit, leaves, herbs, and sappy wood. There are very light tannins. This batch is an intriguing contrast to its Darjeeling cousin of the same vintage; the Moondrops 1st Flush 2020.
This is a very tolerant tea when it comes to temperature and time. We like it with 3g:150ml at 80˚C for 3 mins which gives the most balance of all the flavours. This tea is worth buying if you enjoy delicate teas or want to experience this unusual origin.
Storage and Ageing
Store in a cool dry place away from sunlight. When Lalani & Co first brought this tea into the collection, they didn’t expect it to age. It was a slow seller at first, so they had the chance to see how well it ages and, thankfully, they still have some of the delicious 2017s left. The 2017 is still developing beautifully with time and the 2020 should age for at least 5 years.