Organic Darjeeling Ruby Oolong
Organic Darjeeling Ruby Oolong | Loose-Leaf Oolong Tea
Taste: Black cherry & ripe fig
Tea Maker: Singtom Estate
Steep 1 1.5 tsp/2.5 g | 8 oz | 195° F | 3 min
Steep 2 8 oz | 200° F | 4 min
Certifications: USDA Organic
Darjeeling Ruby Oolong is in a class of its own. This microbatch velvet-smooth tea weaves the flavors of ripe black cherries into luscious figs and never comes back.
Tasting Notes: Tea makers at Singtom Estate have pioneered a new style of Indian tea with this showstopper. It’s a decadently smooth and rich cup that weaves a delicate blackcherry top note into threads of figs and raw cocoa. Part of the joy of making this tea comes from watching the pearls unfurl as they steep, opening to reveal perfectly plucked tea leaves. Lovers of Yunnan Gold Snail Tea will also likely enjoy this one.
Production: One look at the well-shaped pearls, and the tea maker’s expertise is immediately apparent. The tea is comprised exclusively of pristine whole leaves that are harvested only under specific weather conditions and plant growth from a select part of Singtom Garden named “Victoria’s Peak.” The harvested green leaf is meticulously handled to avoid any breakage during processing. We follow the tea maker’s lead in labeling it an oolong, although the heavy oxidization makes it as dark as a black tea. True to their pioneering spirit, the Chirimar family that creates this Darjeeling oolong tea is blurring traditional lines to reinvent Indian tea.
Region: Running along Nepal’s eastern border, the mountainous area of Darjeeling is a confluence of varied ecologies and cultures. The region’s sharp ascent from the plains of West Bengal into the towering Himalayas creates the ideal conditions for tea to flourish. As rain clouds heavy with water from the Bay of Bengal collide into the mountains, the tea bushes receive intense bursts of rainfall followed by strong, unfiltered sunlight. These heavy rains are actually what gives the region its name; “Darjeeling” means “Land of the Rolling Thunder” in Tibetan. Recognizing the potential for high elevation specialty teas, Darjeeling tea makers have focused on quality since they began crafting teas there in the 1850s and have built a tea tradition that fetches some of the highest prices in the world. Darjeeling is also a melting pot of South Asian ethnicities, home to Tibetans, Nepali, and Indians. Under colonialism, the mild mountain temperatures made Darjeeling a perfect retreat for British soldiers, which is why the town was originally built. Today, in the shadows of Mt. Everest and Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak, Darjeeling remains a destination for tea lovers and trekkers alike. Read our blog about this region here.
Tea Makers: The Chirimar family has worked in tea for several generations -- the family started as tea tasters, became brokers, and eventually estate owners. With deep understanding of both the tea plant and the market, they’re able to respond to new demand for unconventional Darjeeling teas far faster than other producers. In all they do, they work to bring the quality and craftsmanship of Darjeeling teas to the highest level.
Impact: Through expanding the taste and quality of Indian teas, new teas like Ruby Oolong set the stage for more experimentation among growers and challenge the uniform tastes that have dominated Darjeeling’s production since its inception. As an organic tea, it further demonstrates that when ecosystems are well-stewarded, the benefits are abundant.
Packaging: Our teas come in resealable standup pouches with strong moisture and oxygen barriers. All our pouches are made with at least 20% post-consumer recycled milk jugs and water bottles. They are infinitely reusable although not recyclable. They are essentially high-end resealable bags. After you have finished your tea, wash and reuse them to store your car snacks, carry your favorite trail-mix on a hike, or even store odds and ends such as art and craft supplies, batteries and toiletries.