Founded by two brothers in 2001 Jun Chiyarbari is a young, small tea garden located in the Dhankuta district of eastern Nepal near the town of Hile. As the crow flies it is about 100 km west of Darjeeling and 200 km east of Kathmandu. With tea plants growing altitudes of 1650 m – 2200 m on a steep incline the temperature never goes above 20°c. Bright, warm, sunny days are punctuated by cool mountain mists and chilly nights: the perfect conditions for growing tea.
With an emphasis on organic, sustainable, and innovative practices, the garden produces a relatively small amount of tea, between 15,000 and 20,000 kg a year.
When you know the history of tea in India it is easy to understand why the owners of Jun Chiyabari are keen to differentiate themselves from the tea makers in Darjeeling. While it is fair to say that some Nepalese teas display similar characteristics to teas from Darjeeling, this unique, artisanal tea, as are and other teas made by Jun Chiyabari, is totally different. Made using knowledge and methods shared with them by Japanese and Taiwanese tea masters and Taiwanese machinery, this “Imperial Black Tea” is the first tea to have been produced in Nepal using different methods and machinery to those adopted and installed by the British in India in the late 19th century. Jun Chiyabari has also deliberately renounced categorizing teas as “first flush”, “orthodox”, or adopting the abbreviations used to define quality such as “SFTGFOP”.
Because of the unique production method this is a black tea that can either be brewed gong fu style (using more tea to make several short infusions) or in the traditional western way. However you prepare it take time to admire the beautifully long and slightly twisted leaves and take in the fruity aroma beforehand. After a 3-5 minute infusion time the liquor reveals a strong, spicy scent followed by sweet caramel and cocoa notes and a hint of malt.
Nepal is one of the tea growing countries we have not visited yet. Learn more about the tea garden Jun Chiyabari by visiting their very informative website.
OriginHile, near Ilam, Nepal
FlavoursHints of caramel, chocolate and malt
Time3 - 5 Min
Infusions1 - 3, depending on brewing method
From controlled organic cultivation