Country of Origin: India
Region: Assam, Tingri
Shipping Port: Calcutta
Grade: BOP Broken Orange Pekoe
Altitude: 1500 ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe) CTC (Cut, Torn and Curled)
Cup Characteristics: Strong, full bodied with excellent maltiness and rich color. Good self-drinker in the early morning for a pick-me-up.
Infusion: Bright and tending coppery.
Ingredients: Luxury black tea.
Keyhung is in the Indian state of Assam, which lies north of Burma, northeast of Bangladesh and south of China. The state of Assam is a security controlled area particularly so since it borders China. During the Chinese invasion of India in 1963 the invading troops stopped not far from Keyhung before peacefully returning to China a few weeks later.
Keyhung is a very large estate covering some 3 square miles of which 2 square miles or 1300 acres is under tea production. Keyhung employs about 3000 laborers who are engaged in plucking, estate husbandry and tea manufacturing. In essence, Keyhung is a small town as the families of the laborers all live on the estate. In total nearly 10,000 people live here. The owners are well regarded as excellent employers; providing housing, schooling and medical facilities right on the estate. Land that is not used for tea cultivation is loaned to the families so they can grow vegetables for their own consumption and sale at the weekly market that takes place on the estate.
In the bamboo groves near the manager's bungalow live hundreds of monkeys. Having breakfast with the state manager is enjoyed with a cacophony of screeches and cries from the monkey families.
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 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep tea 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!