This past week I tasted five Darjeeling oolong teas from five different producers. Three of these teas are the main subjects of our online tasting activity at hand. Suffice to say that I am impressed by the unique taste and individuality of each tea, considering that all of them sprang from the same region.

Thank you to the Lochans of the Lochan Tea Limited in Darjeeling, India for providing the tea samples.

Without further ado, I am honored to commence T Ching’s first online tasting event. My esteemed friends in tea please post your opinions below.

TEAS BEING TASTED

– Castleton Moonlight Oolong, Darjeeling
– Glenburn Snow Oolong, Darjeeling
– Hillton Nutty Oolong, Darjeeling


PROFILES OF THE ESTATES

CASTLETON
Kurseong, in Darjeeling, is a quiet, unassuming town, much loved by the solitude seeker. On the Darjeeling Toy Train route, this charming little town is affectionately called Land of the White Orchid. And among the lush tea plantations that lie across these hills is the Castleton Tea Estate. Owned by the Goodricke Group, is also the first garden to receive the ISO 9002 certification. With a planted area of over 170 hectars, Castleton produces 30,545 kgs of tea. As one of the top producers in Darjeeling, Castleton recently surpassed its own previous world records by fetching Rs. 15,000 (around US $360) per kg (2.2 lbs).

GLENBURN
Started by a Scottish tea company in 1860, Glenburn tea estate is located at Darjeeling and has 1600 acres of tea planted with breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga mountain range, stretching from an elevation of 3700 ft. all the way down to two rivers and a valley, two leaves and a bud…..Acre upon acre of rolling tea bush and forest….A house on a hill, a Himalayan sunrise and a tea garden that still marches to a century-old beat. Famous for its delicate, flowery nose, and clear liquor, Glenburn teas have been long prized in the west for their unique characteristics.

HILLTON
Ambiok is located on the way between Kalimpong Town and Sombaray Bazar in Gurubathan. It lies about 80 kilometers South-East of Kalimpong Town also called Teesta Valley of Darjeeling at an altitude ranging from 600 mts to 1770 mts.. It has a planted area of 375 acres and produces 170,000 kilos of tea.