Grade(s): FTWOPExS (Flowery Tippy White Orange Pekoe Extra Special) Growing Altitudes: 3500 – 7000 feet above sea level Manufacture Type(s): Non fermented, Orthodox, Naturally withered and dried, Small batch crafted, Hand sorted. Cup Characteristics: A very rare tea from the Darjeeling area – each leaf is hand selected. The cup is faintly muscatel with a hint of white wine notes. Infusion: Lightly golden pale. Luxury Ingredients: White tea Information: White tea – quite possibly the most delicately flavored beverage available in the world today. Although they are generally associated with China, and in particular Fujian province, white teas of very high quality have been produced in India for many years. Not as long as in China however where white tea has been produced since at least the 12th century. At that time, the Emperor Hui Tsung declared that it was the finest tea available in all of the country. In India, although white tea may not have as much history, it is still highly esteemed. Why? Well, legend has it in some circles that Darjeeling white tips, the tea you hold now in your hands was the favorite tea of none other than Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, one of the first two men to Summit Mount Everest. (If that’s not a healthy endorsement for a tea we don’t know what is!)
Tenzing Norgay grew up surrounded by tea plantations and soaring mountain peaks in the town of Darjeeling Typically, a steaming pot of tea would have been on the boil in his home nearly every minute of the day. Although most of his fellow Sherpas drank a more traditional cup of black tea or spiced chai, Tenzing apparently preferred to quaff piping bowls of fresh White Tips. And why not? White Tip is the of the world’s finest teas. The tea is produced using the two leaves found around a new tea shoot at the very top of the bushes. These are hand sorted and then gently steamed and dried under a soft heat. The result is an incredibly light fresh flavor with mild muscatel notes, typical of all good Darjeelings, rounded by underlying tones of white wine. Pair the unbelievable flavor with the fact that White Tips contain at least 3 times the antioxidant polyphenols of green or black teas, and have lower levels of caffeine, and you have a winning cup.