Puttabong (Tukvar) Tea Estate is one of the largest tea plantations in Darjeeling with 436+ hectares under tea cultivation – fully 'certified organic'. Mr. Somani is the Superintendent and Mr. Rajesh Pareek, the manger of the tea estate. Sometime ago, we had purchased their “Clonal Exclusive” during the First Flush and it was well appreciated by tea connoisseurs.
Our batch or selection of Puttabong SFTGFOP1 Moondrops this year are a special hand rolled lot which are made in smaller amounts, but a little expensive pertaining to their appearance and overall high quality. Made from pure AV2 tea bushes, it is first withered and then manually hand rolled. Then it is sun-dried. After a certain amount of sun-drying, it is applied to the drier to polish up the tips which the tea maker works on according to his experience. LC 10 was a pure batch of AV2 clonal tea and unlike others which were a mix of other clones as well. They were equally good, but we had to choose the best and this pure AV2 breed surpassed other versions of Puttabong Moondrop.
Puttabong Moondrops Tea Dry Leaves:
Plucked by tender, but experienced hands, the women tea folk at Puttabong has done a commendable job here. Without the right plucking which forms the first step in processing tea, the whole tea adventure can be a total waste – the right tea leaves will first determine the quality of tea. The tea leaves are voluminous, slender and well rolled (manually). Two leaves and a bud are visible. A clonal variety with an overall greenish appearance accompanied by abundance of silver tips clad in minute downy silver hairs. The aroma speaks of mild and pleasing 'confectionery' like smell – varieties of pastries. It has a sweet floral nose accompanied by fruity aroma reminiscent of pineapple. Somewhat nutty to some extent. Has mild spicy character as well.
Puttabong Moondrops Tea Darjeeling Infusion:
The infusion consists of larger tea leaves which has now opened up after being brewed. A lively overall greenish infusion with a blend of shades of yellow and brown. The infusion brightens with the soaked silver hairs giving it a definite and indirect shine forecasting good liqor quality. It lends a sweet floral nose accompanied by mild vanilla like essence. It smells sweet and tender and refreshes the mind as you inhale. It again emits mild pastry like aroma which also seems like mixed with fruity nose like the pineapple. Light spicy and nutty characteristics can also be found.
Puttabong Moondrops Tea Cup or Liqour:
The cup seems lighter than its china variety. Clonals always seem to be lighter in the cup when compared to china variety. Clonals are usually larger in size than the chinary teas, but smaller clonal sized leaves can produce stronger cup. Mantra is smaller the tea leaves, stronger the cup; larger the tea leaves lighter the cup. It has a light golden-yellow cup which is bright and highly aromatic. It has a smooth cup with desirable complex and fragrant floral aroma. Has a very mild biscuity taste. It has a lively brisk taste that sparkles and bursts in the mouth which seems very invigorating. The tea is sweet, vanilla like and floral. Some fruity character can be noticed along with almondy character. It has very little astringency and leaves the tip of the tongue with a sweet aftertaste. The after taste lingers and even after your tea has cooled, there still are beautiful flowery and fruity notes.
A marvelous Darjeeling First Flush 2018 tea produced by Puttabong Tea Estate. Hats off to the tea makers. Puttabong Moondrops is not a tea that should be skipped by any one who loves tea and if you are a Darjeeling Tea lover, missing this tea would be like missing the creams!