Surprising to some, Nepal produces some fine teas.
Medicinal herbs cultivated in the lower regions of the Himalayas are thought to be some of the purest in the world, and tea is among these.
High altitude teas are known for having more flavour than lower altitude teas.
Nepali tea bushes are youthful and benefit from the region’s humidity and heavy rainfall, with many people believing these conditions produce high levels of antioxidants and are also lower in pollutants than tea grown in low altitude areas.
The Association of Himalayan Orthodox Tea Producers Nepal claims the area is only using 20 per cent of its available land for growing tea.
And with a 15 per cent annual increase of tea being produced in Nepal, you can expect to see more and more tea coming from the region.
Most Nepali teas produced for export are orthodox and interestingly, Germany is the number one country importing the tea.
Of the six million kgs of tea a year the main places taking a liking to it are Hong Kong, the USA and UK, and parts of Europe.
Nepali organic orthodox teas are first flush (FTGFOP I), STGFOP I (silver, tippy, golden, flowery, orange pekoe).
You may have seen this naming system before. It tells us about the tea’s colour, shape, size, aroma and more.
S – silver, T – tippy, G – golden, O – orange, P – pekoe, B – broken, W – wiry, I – first flush, II – second flush.
The tea growing regions of Nepal are Dhankuta, Illam, Jhapa, Therathum and Panchthar.
Nepali tea’s flavour and characters are similar to those of Darjeeling tea.
But other teas are also slowly being produced and marketed such as Nepali green tea.