These tea leaves come from a garden very close to Darjeeling town which has the only original small-leaved Chinese variety of bushes planted by the British over 100 years ago. This means relatively low yields but exceptional flavour. The infused tea has a light amber […]
Month: March 2013
This is a very rare tea from Yunnan comprising only delicate golden buds. It is produced in Mannong, on Hekai Mountain, one of the world’s most ancient tea cultivation areas. Initially processed similarly to a green tea, a second oxidation stage is added, during which […]
The garden at Goomtee has a record of producing premium quality teas every season and this is no exception. The tea is given an extra baking process to improve its keeping quality, making it ideal for all year round drinking. Goomtee is not part of a large estate group and stands on its own as a true heritage property. The Partners have been privileged to manage it since 1995 and the third generation is now ready and eager to continue with the tradition while experimenting with new processing methods.
We have selected teas produced at the very beginning of the new season to ensure a classic First Flush character which combines a touch of greenness with dry Muscatel flavour.
Legend has it, there was a man who had spoken out against a thief and been exiled from his homeland. The thief was the son of the King, who denied the theft and blamed it on his accuser. The King knew his son was guilty but he could not allow the scandal to damage his reputation and power, and so he sided with his son. The man was made to leave his wife and children and cross over the border alone.
Devastated, his wife decided she could not live without him and she threw herself at the mercy of the King. “Please allow my husband home. He has done nothing wrong. If you do not let him come back to me, I will kill myself, for I cannot live without him”. The King was shocked. He hatched a plan to send his guards to find the man and bring him home. But the son was appalled and did not want anyone to know the truth. So he plotted to kill the man before he came back into the kingdom. The King meanwhile, had been thinking about the situation and was ashamed at how he had reacted. He decided to travel to the border, disguised as a local, to personally welcome the man back into the country and ask for his forgiveness.
On the night in question, there was no moon out, and so it was very dark. The King dressed in black robes and covered his face. He travelled with a few guards to the border and he laughed and joked with them as they waited. His son, on seeing a local man with the guards in this way, assumed it was his accuser and perched up in the hills, shot an arrow through the man’s heart. It was then he saw the real accuser coming out from the woods, rushing to help the man he had shot. With horror, he realised he had killed his father.
He blamed everyone but himself and when he took control of the kingdom he was a cruel leader. Eventually the people could stand no more. They left to live just beyond the border, in a village they named Ghumti, meaning “place of turning”, for this is where they would turn their lives into something better. People followed and soon there was no one left for the son to rule. He lived out his life alone and afraid.
The people in Ghumti prospered and began growing tea bushes along the border. The village became well known for this rare tea and its dry Muscatel flavour and it became a symbol of things replenished and renewed.
Don’t forget to enter our competition to win a special Ringtons Rare Tea Infuser Gift Set.
Our special Assam has come from the Attabarrie tea garden in Sibsagar district, a region characterised by a highly humid atmosphere and heavy rainfall during the Summer. Attabarrie regularly wins prizes for the quality of its orthodox leaf teas.
The Sibsagar district has a rich history and was once ruled by the might “Ahoms” for over 600 years. Ruins of their temples still exist today. The Ahoms were originally a Burmese Shan tribe, said to have withstood 17 invasions. The first Ahom King arrived in Assam with nobles and 9000 people in tow. They earned the name “Ahom”, meaning “unequalled” because of their values and bravery.
Sometime in the year 1500, the Ahom King was unseated. He managed to hide himself in a nearby hill, but his enemies chained his Queen to a tree and tortured her with leaves of a poisonous plant. They set free all sorts of bugs for stinging her. The Queen bravely bore this for 18 days and when her husband visited her in disguise, just before she died, he lost his cool, assassinated the pretender to the throne and fled.
He was helped by an old lady in hiding from the marauding army. She gave him shelter, food and drink, and spiritual guidance. He was terribly sad after the cruel loss of his Queen and slowly the old lady helped restore his faith and confidence. She introduced him to a golden tipped tea plant, which he nurtured and cared for and it became part of his daily routine to drink the tea after his morning meditation. When the plant was regularly flourishing and in excellent condition, the old lady knew he was ready to regain his kingdom.
Years later when the King returned to power, he expressed his gratitude to the old lady by constructing a bridge on the stream near the spot with only a single stone piece. This was considered a great civil engineering feat at that time. It is said that the same bridge still exists, over which the present national highway runs. The tea still flourishes and the Attabarrie Tea Garden in which it is grown, regularly wins prizes for the quality of its orthodox leaf teas.