A single origin tea, sometimes called a single region tea, is a tea that has come from a single region, usually a specific sub-region of a country. A closely-related term is a single estate tea, which is a type of single origin tea that has been produced on a specific, named tea estate or garden.
1. Continent - India
2. Area - Jalpaiguri
3. Region - Meghalaya
4. Sub-Region - Shillong
5. Estate - Lakyrsiew
6. Flush Type - First Flush
When looking at classifying a single origin tea we work backwards from 6. until we find the right fit.
Just like good wine, the region in which a tea is grown can influence its flavour in profound ways. Even if the production process is similar, geographical factors such as climate and soil can change how the final tea tastes dramatically. The advantages of single origin tea for the avid tea drinker is the ability to experience the diversity of flavours and aromas in its purest form as the farmer and tea master intended. You know that the taste hasn’t been tainted with teas from other farms.
The processing of tea leaves can be a very complex process and each tea master has their own personalized processing techniques that are continually being evolved. There are many different things that the tea master can do to bring out certain tastes in their teas. When you do not mix teas from different farms together, the tea master and farm can be held accountable for the quality of the tea. How the leaves are processed does play a huge roll in the quality of the tea, what’s equally as important though is how the tea trees are grown.
Origin is an important label in that some specific region is renowned for a special quality and the name of the place becomes the indicator of a certain standard. Ie Assam or Darjeeling.
Another important advantage of single origin tea is that by knowing where the tea is from you can also find out how the tea is produced/manufactured. By knowing how the tea is produced we are able to make informed purchasing decisions that promote sustainability, for tea estates or tea gardens working with environmentally sound practices, and in a way that protects the rights of workers and garden owners. Here at N&S we only purchase from estates that have ethical practices and treat their workers to a fair living wage. We believe it is how we would like to be treated so we strive to do the same.
The opposite of single origin tea is tea blends, these combined teas are produced in different regions and then blended together using a certain ratio to create the best flavour. You will be familiar with blends, such as English Breakfast, Lemon Grey etc these teas are blended to give the best flavour profile by picking desirable traits from certain tea growing regions.
As tea is a natural plant the flavour can waver from year to year so tea blenders will work by mixing different leaves together to create a constant flavour you have grown to love. The term "blend" is somewhat ambiguous as it can be used both to refer to blends of tea from different growing regions of the same country, or blends of tea from different countries. To keep it as simple as possible we classify any tea that has been blended as a blend, (even if they are from the immediate growing region or if they contain teas from different countries) This way its easy to spot our single origin teas.
We only purchase tea grown using all-natural cultivation methods, meaning that there were not any chemicals, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers or pesticides used in the making of any of the teas that we sell. As naturally grown teas become more popular and the demand for them becomes higher this will inevitably mean that more farmers will be encouraged to grow their teas in a sustainable manner as the demand for it will be higher.