Nepal High Himalaya Jade Oolong
From Tea Trekker:
We found this outstanding ‘green-style’ oolong from Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden, a small & exclusive single estate located in the mid eastern Himalayan hills of Nepal.
The gardens at Jun Chiyabari that produce leaf for this oolong tea are located at 6,000 feet in the ‘hills’ around Hile, a typical Himalaya hill-town, about 15 km west of Ilam (the major tea-producing region of eastern Nepal) not far from Sikkim and Darjeeling to the east, and Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) to the north.
High Himalaya Jade Oolong is a very subtly and lightly oxidized oolong (around 20-30%) hence its name. Some might mistake it for a white tea or a green tea, as we were tempted to at first, but the tea artisans at Jun Chiyabari are very particular with such details and feel it is important that this tea be identified by its careful preparation – that of a lightly oxidized oolong.
This oolong is lofty, with large leaves that are encouraged to unfurl graciously in the teapot.
Summer tea manufacture is uncommon in Nepal, but when it does occur most leaf is made into black or green tea. However, when the tea master saw this fresh leaf, he felt that it would make excellent oolong tea. So he made a small amount of it and it is spectacular.
Remarkably, the leaf for High Himalaya Jade Oolong depicted the typical characteristics of an early first flush, both in looks and in the cup, which is very unusual for summer leaf. The aroma of the prepared leaf indicates that it might have a much stronger flavor profile than it ultimately has – it is incredibly smooth in the cup. These tea leaves come from an elevation of 6,000 ft and are manufactured using techniques that are unique to Jun Chiyabari.