by Little Yellow Teapot (a tea steeping marvel and occasional contributing author to this e-zine)
Even though this vendor has expanded their line-up to include many of the flavored teas and herbals that you humans love so much, we are happy to see that they have not abandoned their roots deep in the heart of those prime teas from China and India. This is such a tea. The Giddapahar Tea Estate is one of the 87 (or 88) tea gardens that can officially call its teas by the name “Darjeeling.” It’s small, family-owned, and committed to top quality. Let’s see, though, how it measures up (if it does) to my high standards and those of my humans. TOOOOOT!
The leaves before steeping are a pure delight with a rich aroma and an appearance that tells of very careful handling by the processors. However, being an Autumn Flush, this tea surprised us by steeping up fairly light in color and flavor, even though we used boiling water and infused for 5 minutes (we use black tea guidelines for this flush of tea generally speaking). The leaves after steeping looked very much like the First Flush we had tried a short while ago (posted on our old blog here). The flavor was not quite the rich Muscatel we expected and, like a first flush tea we’d tried awhile ago from the Makaibari Tea Estate, it had that hint of corn flavor in the aftertaste. Darjeeling devotees, though, will find it enjoyable.
About Giddapahar Tea Estate: The garden is on a mountain a short drive from the town of Kurseong (in fact, you can see the town from the garden). It is in the geographic area designated as an official Darjeeling tea growing area. The Singh family has operated this garden since it’s founding in 1881 and live in a house not far from their small factory. The mountain is steep sloped and often shrouded in mist, and the temperatures tend to be cooler. The garden is around 4,864 feet elevation. Their production is less than many of the more well-known gardens in that special geographic area. They grow only China jats (cultivar of the tea plant Camellia sinensis).
Disclaimer: all items were furnished by the vendor but all opinions expressed here are totally unbiased.
© 2014 A.C. Cargill photos and text