Rare & Trendy: Kumaon Black Tea
Frontier Kumaon Black Tea is the newest and perhaps most versatile tea in our lineup. Its flavor is firmly anchored in the classic traits of robust Indian teas, but distinguished by a cocoa flavor with caramel notes and a creamy texture. Its distinct taste will appeal to experienced tea drinkers looking for a strong English Breakfast-type tea, as well as newer tea drinkers looking for a smooth and balanced cup.
Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, Kumaon lies 200 miles west of Nepal’s border in one of the most remote regions in all of India. Its tea plants thrive in the acidic and well-drained soil of the mountainside slopes, where the techniques used to grow and prepare the tea are handed down from generation to generation. A lesser-known tea due to decades of limited supply on the world market, today Kumaon teas are finding new markets beyond India. The premium Kumaon Black Tea earns growers 5-10 times the average earnings of Indian tea farmers.
Black teas go through a 4-step process to become the tea that ends up in your cup: withering, rolling, oxidizing and drying. The blackening of the tea comes when the cell wall is broken and the tea leaf is exposed to oxygen. Kumaon Black Tea is a finely sorted grade of black tea, tightly rolled and blended with a smattering of golden tips. These tips come from only the newest growth buds of the tea, and are the hallmark of a high-quality tea. Through sorting, producers can create the desired bud-to-leaf ratio that gives Kumaon Black Tea its unique taste.
Kumaon Black Tea is versatile and approachable. It's similar in strength to a hearty morning English Breakfast tea but carries floral aromas and cocoa-sweet flavors that can be coaxed through a variety of brewing applications. Difficult to oversteep, the fruity and bitter-chocolate undertones are accompanied by a lingering, creamy texture. Kumaon Black Tea is an exemplary brewed-by-the-cup hot tea but is also an excellent tea for making iced tea – its soft flavors and full body can hold up to a variety of brewing applications.