Country of Origin: India
Region: Golaghat, State of Assam
Shipping Port: Calcutta and Haldia
Grade: TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
Altitude: up to 2500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: CTC
Manufacturer: George Williamson Assam Co. Ltd
Cup Characteristics: Thick and malty but surprisingly airy with good flavour
Infusion: Very bright and golden coppery
Bukhial is a tea estate belonging to and managed by George Willamson Assam Ltd - the world's largest privately held tea plantation group. Bukhial is situated on the south side of the Brahmaputra River in the state of Assam near a remote region called Nagaland. Wild elephants still roam the estate, but it could be worse; a century ago headhunters also lurked in the forests! In this area rainfall is lower which makes the bushes grow more slowly, producing an outstanding tea. This well-made orthodox leaf tea produces a strong, colory and flavorful cup. The manager Mr. Dhar is rightfully proud of the fantastic reputation of this estate.
You might ask - What gives Assam tea its special characteristics? The Assam valley is dominated by the Brahmaputra River - a large slowly meandering river which over millennia of fall flooding has deposited a rich loam over the valley. The soil is a deep and sandy and the region suffers a very hot and steamy monsoon season, but equally important a relatively dry and cool winter. Perfect conditions for the Assam tea bush. This area is also susceptible to earthquakes which can make the ground swallow up whole tea bushes but this does not affect the unmistakable rich taste of Bukhial TGFOP.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help capture the malty character of this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea 'straight-up'.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or 'milky' when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!