Luxury Ingredients: Black tea
Country of Origin: India
Shipping Port: Cochin
Grade: BOP Broken Orange Pekoe
Altitude: 5000 ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: One of the nicest teas produced. Has pronounced orange blossom-like flavor with a light golden cup. Best enjoyed in the early morning
Infusion: Bright, tending coppery
Ingredients: Luxury black tea
Nonsuch is one of the best Nilgiri district teas in league with Tiger Hill and Glendale. The Nilgiri area is in Southern Central India and certainly well suited to the production of tea. The cooler temperatures of the mountains and abundant rainfall ensure superb cropping conditions. Generally Nilgiri teas resemble better Ceylon teas but tend to be somewhat more delicate in their flavour. Nonsuch has a hint of fruitiness that is quite distinct to the Nilgiri area.
In the world tea trade South Indian tea is highly valued. The estates are quite small and each estate's taste profile is quite different from one another. During earlier times the USSR was very active in the weekly tea auction in Cochin, bidding up prices to high levels. Due to the high prices achieved at auction the South Indian tea estates maintained good husbandry and production practices that allow them to receive a return that is generally higher than most other tea growing areas.
Nilgiri is a mountainous region of Tamil Nadu State in southeastern India. The peaks of the Nilgiris rise abruptly from the surrounding plains to an elevation of 5000 - 8500 feet above sea level. Tea was first planted on an experimental basis in 1835 and the first commercial tea garden was at Thiashola Tea Garden, which began operations in 1859. The tea at Thiashola was cultivated by Chinese prisoners of war, captured by the British during the Opium Wars.
The climate of the Nilgiris allows tea to be produced all year round. The first flushes of the new season are picked from April until May and account for about 25% of the region's total harvest. The 2nd flush - accounting for about 40-45% of the yearly crop is from Sept. to Nov., and lastly the third flush is from Dec. to Jan. The best teas are produced during January and August.
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 floral character of this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea 'straight-up'.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 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!