High in the forgotten forest region of Meghalaya, India, hides a true gem, the tiny LaKyrsiew tea-garden.
This tiny garden produces small amounts of the rarest and unique tea in the world for us. They do this because their concern is always quality over quantity. The tea is meticulously hand picked by workers that are paid a fair living wage (a very important condition for all the teas in the N&S range) and then is crafted to keep the beautiful leaves whole. This tender crafting allows the leaves to retain a delicacy and softness that is very rare in black teas.
As great as the tea is, the processing is equally important, (you could say its the yang, to the yin). The teas are expertly processed by the Nalin Mohda, an industry guru. With Nalin’s uncompromising quality and with 40 years in tea production, he has been able to work with the owners and the estate's workers to coax simply the best quality out of the teas this stunning estate produces. Thanks to this it has received some of the highest prices in the tea industry.
Autumn flush — the last of the year — begins by the end of October, once the monsoon has withdrawn from the misty hills, the rains tapered off, and the temperatures began to drop. The tea bushes reduce their output as they move toward hibernation. It is the shortest of the harvests and lasts just 30 or so days.
The leaf has gentle aromas of malt and tart fruit with a hint of sandalwood. The floral aspect of this tea I would liken to the smell of marigolds and dandelion in the fields. The brew has a very smooth full mouthfeel with a mellow blend of toasted hazelnuts, honey roasted peanut and a delicate sweet malty caramel. These characteristics are a perfect balance between the light and floral teas of Darjeeling with the sweet and malty notes you get from the best Assam. A very enjoyable sweet lingering taste that fills the palate. Truly a very unique tea suited to pretty much any time of day.
"In my capacity as a Tea Taster with over 40 years of experience not only have you captured the very essence of the pure and magic of Shillong, the Scotland of the East, with its unique weather pattern so important to Tea, the fresh air, the chill and the mists, as well as her beauty, but also captured to a very high degree the various fine distinctions in the tea plant to bring out the full character of the district, all the uniqueness.
While doing so much for the environment and the pluckers involved, it is a joy to have each sip transport oneself to Shillong and taste the nectar of the Gods. And with the natural flavour being so carefully imbibed into each tea leaf, one can easily place your produce as one of the finest in the land. — Ashok Batra, Managing Director of J Thomas & Co (The largest and oldest tea auction company in the world)