Himalayan Imperial Black 2019-2021
Jun Chiyabari is a young, boutique garden in Nepal, perched in the foothills of the Himalayas reaching over 6,000ft. The garden was founded in the year 2000 by two brothers, Lochan and Bachan, and grown organically from the start. There are many tea cultivars at Jun Chiyabari, and a philosophy of experimentation at this boutique garden.
The Imperial Black is a fully oxidised, large leaf black tea, best picked in the Autumn which is unusual for teas in the Himalayan region. The leaves come from mixed clonal cultivars, which are fully oxidised and then fired to slightly caramelise the sugars. We always look for the batches on the more caramelised side as this shows off this style of tea to its full potential. It’s perfect for someone who loves beautiful full-bodied black teas, peaty whiskeys and dark chocolate.
J217 2019 (30kg): Sweet dark chocolate notes with hints of red fruit breaking through, and a sweetness reminiscent of muscovado sugar. Smooth texture, sweet chocolatey finish.
J268 2020 (30kg): Delicious dark earthy cacao notes leading to cinder toffee, with the texture of a coarse grind chocolate. The finish is long, sweet, and remarkably refined for a tea with such bold flavour. You might notice subtle hints of sweet smoke. Picked on the 14th October 2020.
J183 2021 (30kg): Picked on the 26th October. A chocolate and caramel forward batch, with some hints of vanilla and fudge, and an earthy dark cacao finish.
We suggest infusing 3g per 150ml (cup) at 90°C for 3 mins.
Storage and Ageing
The Imperial Black teas maintain their quality over long periods of time. My most recent vertical tasting involved a 2013, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The 2013 was still drinking beautifully. The age doesn’t improve or diminish the tea. Generally speaking, as they age, the teas lose some of their thick texture, and become smoother. The tannin reduces, and the chocolate notes dominate over the earthy cacao and toffee. Still you can adjust the flavour with your infusion technique.
As will most teas, store them in their original jars, in a cool dry place, away from direct light.