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Makaibari: an exceptional tea from harvest to infusion

Makaibari Kusmi Tea 2018

Makaibari tea is freshly harvested every spring from a garden of the same name in India. It is then put in cases before being infused to release the delicate green notes so typical of this Darjeeling. We wanted to tell you a little more about this exceptional tea. Let’s take a closer look at the harvest, which is carried out according to longstanding traditions.


What is Makaibari?

The Makaibari Tea Garden, whose name means “field of corn” in Nepali, is located in the Himalayan foothills on the way to Bhutan and Tibet. The site has been cultivated with care and passion since 1859, and the fauna and flora of this lush, green Indian region coexist in harmony. These factors contribute to the excellent quality of the soil which lends the tea bushes their unique flavor.

The first flush

The first harvest (or first flush) every year is carried out when the temperature rises and the days grow longer. At this point, the tea bushes have hibernated for five months. The very first shoots are then carefully picked to produce a unique, delicately-flavored tea.

Why is it so special?

Darjeeling is known as the champagne of black teas, first of all because it is an exceptional product defined by a unique, sophisticated flavor. What’s more, this tea boasts its own protected designation of origin, just like champagne. The only teas that can be called “Darjeeling” have to come from this region.

What do the letters FTGFOP stand for?

This acronym is a grade given according to the delicacy of the harvested leaves. The more letters there are, the more exceptional the tea.

The letters in this grade actually mean “Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe.”

How should Makaibari tea be prepared?

This tea is exclusively made of young shoots found at the tips of the tea bush – the bud and the two most fragile leaves. Preparing it therefore requires a gentle method to enable the precious leaves to express the full potential of their delicate aromas.

The water should be around 167°F (75°C). The leaves should be infused for less than three minutes, and ideally for two and a half minutes.

Did you know?

The owner and partner of the Makaibari Tea Garden likes to say that “Darjeeling is to tea what champagne is to wine.” The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi even presented Queen Elizabeth II of England with a gift of the renowned Makaibari tea.

A gift of enormous value, as what is rare is precious…

If you want to discover the first flush from 2018, you can visit the website and find it in store from next week onwards.