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Monday, January 19, 2009

Nepali Orthodox Tea

“Tea has always been an expression of freshness” as whether it’s an early morning reason to get-up or a hot drink in hard winter, we generally grab our cups to satisfy our longing by having a cup of tea. To be precise tea has adapted the different culture and creed people, evolving itself as a brawny part of the different culture where people have developed it as an addiction in the most profound way. Scientifically, the tea plant belongs to Camellia Sinensis group of species, which generally grows in cold or higher altitude. Categorically teas are divided into two-category CTC which is massively grown in terai region and Orthrodox in hilly region. In-fact, the High altitude teas have more flavors and aroma than low altitude teas that is the reason why, the green teas grown in high altitude are regard as the best. Today, Nepal's orthodox tea is getting famous in the world for its medicinal and youth-ness properties. It is devoured by thousands of people in a pleasing way of satisfying their thirst in just the name of having a break. Perhaps, it contains antioxidants, which helps to fight our body against disease and also helps to prolong aging to an extent. Further researches have confirmed its properties to be effective against disease like cancer. Different category of teas are found from a specific garden, grade and flush like Silvery Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (STGFOP), Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pokoe (TGFOP), Golden Flowery Orange Pokoe (GFOP), Flowery Orange Broken (FOB), Broken Orange Pokoe (BOP), First and Second flush etc where teas grown using minimum pesticide are high in demand in the international market. Mostly the CTC teas are grown in terai region while orthodox teas are grown in hilly region. In eastern Nepal, the organic gardens are situated in 3000ft to 7,325ft above sea level giving the Nepal orthodox tea, a definite taste and aroma. Currently in major areas like Dhankuta, Illam, Jhapa, Therathum, Panchthar etc where the trend of orthodox tea is taking pace with high earning. More over, teas are produce from biological and ecological balanced soil so it has adapted the different entrepreneur in creating a lure for the industry. Generally, the tea plantation in Nepal begins in March following the raining season with the opening of winter. The tea then plucked has a light golden color with a slight aroma. The second flush is plucked during May and June. By mid June the Monsoon season reaches the eastern part and continues till the end of September. The tea produced during this period contains moisture and considered of standard quality. Again in October another plucking session is done which is specifically know as “Autumnal” varying its color from pale lemon to amber with the season. It features an extra ordinary Muscat flavor, rich aroma and a lingering aftertaste. Perhaps orthodox tea is accepted around the world for it seasonal and unique taste. The tea manufacturing process includes three main stages Plantation, Plucking and Pruning and Processing. Plantation includes a rigorous procedure of selecting a high quality tea breed and facilitating it with natural and available fertilizers. Plucking and pruning refers to another important stage where fresh leaves are plucked once every 7 days giving another batch of fresh tea leaves to grow on it. Similarly processing is the most important stage where the leaves plucked from the plant are then withered which gradually evaporates moisture from the leaf over the hours then the leaves are removed from the trough and loaded into a rolling machine. After the rolling process the leaves are then set for fermentation, on attaining the level of fermentation that transforms the green leaves into black tea and when the desired level of fermentation is acquired, then the tea is dried or exposed to hot air to regulate the aroma and taste. Likewise, it goes to a chamber of a modern tea factory where the temperature is maintained in between from 93-121C. It is the most intensive operation in the entire tea processing. After which the tea is then sealed and packed according to desired ways. Nevertheless, in today's context tea is growing as a habituation in subsidizing it as a culture where people are having one more cup in the name of break or recess. (Source: Kunwar C. Santosh, Managing Director of All Nepalese Teas & Coffee Centre. It is an agro based company pioneering in the filed of Orthodox, Organic tea and Bio-fertilizer. For further information please contact or log on to www.allnepaltea.com) BY Shreedeep Rayamajhi

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