Darjeeling Rohini Spicy White 2021 is an unusual white tea from Rohini Tea Estate made from clones of an unknown wild tea plant. This is a rare opportunity to try this unique tea as a very minimal quantity is produced every year. The plants are carefully picked and the leaves are minimally processed to bring out a spiced aroma and profile. This particular lot is from the March 2021 harvest.
You may also be interested in our other 2021 harvest teas from Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates and a Spicy Black version of this tea from the new 2022 harvest.
Like all our Rohini and Gopaldhara teas, we source it directly from Rishi Saria, the owner and director of Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates. Rohini Tea Estate is located along the route that connects the towns of Siliguri and Kurseong. Surrounded by a beautiful natural environment, this estate produces tea from relatively young trees. The estate has had a chequered past, not actually producing any tea for about 30 years after it was shut in 1962. Recently it has been replanted with young tea trees, so sometimes it is referred to as the youngest tea estate in Darjeeling. It is now going from strength to strength and is producing more and more interesting and higher quality teas. Most recently Rohini have been elevating the quality and flavours by focusing on smaller hand processed batches and more unusual types of tea.
This Rohini Spicy White tea is a prime example of an unusual and small batch hand processed tea from this estate. The plants that are used for this tea are clones of a wild tea plant of unknown origin. When the tea replanting at Rohini was done around the turn of the century, a wild tea tree was found growing nearby that provided the cuttings for these new clonal trees. The history or the type of this original wild plant is unknown. As the newly planted trees were particularly hardy and strong, they have become known locally by the name Bhime after Bhim, a mythological character from the Mahabharata epic who was considered to be very strong.
While the plants are strong, unfortunately the leaves also produce an very rough flavour when made into a fully oxidised tea. As there is a limited amount of plants, there is also not enough output to produce a green tea. Hence this Spicy White tea was developed. It undergoes very minimal processing as after picking it is simply dried and slightly rolled by hand. The processing has to be very delicate in order to keep the spicy flavour that can easily fade.
This Darjeeling Rohini Spicy White has neat leaves and consists of smaller leaf plus tips. It produces a bright clear liquor with a light golden colour and an attractive but most unusual spicy aroma. It is best described as the smell of cayenne pepper powder. The clean taste is complex and bold. It has vegetal notes of green capsicums, dried hay and a spiced top note. The aftertaste is smooth and lasting with a touch of dryness. A particularly fascinating tea!
This tea is best brewed at 90°C for 2-3 minutes and can be brewed 2+ times. Like all top grade teas from Gopaldhara and Rohini, you can try experimenting with gongfu brewing.