Friends in Darjeeling introduced us to the Bermiok Estate in Sikkim, which began planting in 2003 and started producing teas in 2008. Sikkim is a former autonomous kingdom, located north of Darjeeling; remote and very mountainous, it’s also India’s only completely organic agricultural state. Bermiok is the second tea garden in the region, and the producer also cultivates other crops, such as strawberries and coffee.
This oolong is a lesser known style for the region; Bermiok has been experimenting with its production over the past few years. Best made in the mid-spring, before 2nd flush season, the leaves undergo a long withering process over a few days before bruising, roasting, rolling then drying. Layered aromas of fruit and malt are the result, with a savory flavor—think sunflower seeds, green melon, fresh pear, baked goods. A pleasant astringency at the finish lends an invigorating quality. Named for the mythical bird deity, a powerful symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, this unique tea is bold, yet balanced.
Tasting Notes: citrus rind, malty, nutty
Harvest Season: Spring 2023
Click here to order a small sample size of this tea.