While tea has traditionally been grown and cultivated in countries like India and China, the relatively small nation of Nepal is making a name for itself as a producer of premium teas. We’ll cover what types of tea Nepal produces, how Nepali tea tastes, and where to find Nepali tea.
What is Nepali tea?
Nepali tea refers to tea grown in the country of Nepal. Stretching across Nepal, India, China, Bhutan, and Pakistan, the Himalayan mountain range is home to some of the most famous tea growing regions in the world, including Darjeeling province in India and Yunnan province in China, as well as the areas where our Nepali teas are grown and harvested.
A rocky landscape of varying altitudes, these mountains are an ideal growing environment for tea, with the unique terroir and high elevation giving teas grown in these regions a distinctive rich, slightly floral character. Nepali teas are becoming more and more popular as people discover these unique and distinctive teas!
The history behind Nepali tea
Beginning in the mid-19th century, the British Empire expanded to India and the British East India Company began full-scale commercial tea production in that part of the world. Despite tea cultivation arriving in Nepal at about the same time as in Darjeeling to the east, commercial tea production in this small Asian country did not take off until later in the 20th century. Nepali tea is currently grown in five primary regions in Nepal, with new areas being added to meet the demand for this much sought after export.
Our Nepali teas
Here at ArtfulTea, we carry three varieties of tea from Nepal: an oolong tea, a white tea, and a black tea. While all of these teas differ in the way they are processed, they are made from the same tea plant, and are three great examples of the Nepali dedication to premium tea.
Himalayan Spring is a premium organic white tea grown in the mountains of Nepal. Himalayan Spring brews up a pale amber color, with notes of grass and stone fruit, and a smooth and buttery finish. White tea receives minimal processing when harvested and dried, helping to preserve many of the unique benefits of tea. Like many white teas, Himalayan Spring is very low in caffeine, very high in antioxidants, and has a delicate, soothing flavor profile that’s perfect for a mellow morning or an afternoon pick-me-up.
One of our most premium teas, Nepalese Gold is an organic black tea with an intense aroma and striking golden leaves. Grown in the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, this award-winning black tea is rich and mellow, with a slight malty sweetness and notes of honey and stone fruit. It brews into a reddish-golden color that provides a flavorful and well balanced cup.
Amber Autumn Oolong is an “autumn flush” oolong sourced from Nepal. This double roasted oolong is more fully oxidized than other oolong teas, and features a medium body and a mellow natural sweetness. Amber Autumn Oolong can be infused multiple times and has low to moderate caffeine levels. This tea features tightly rolled reddish-brown leaves that brew up a rich carnelian color, with notes of apricot, malt, leather, and caramel.
How to make Nepali tea
The exact preparation methods for Nepali tea vary depending on what type of tea it is. Water temperature, steep time, and amount of tea leaves all differ based on the specific tea type. For example, black teas should generally be prepared with boiling water, while white teas should be prepare with water that is steaming briskly but not yet boiling. We offer full preparation instructions for each of our teas.
What is Nepali milk tea?
Nepali milk tea is a Nepalese take on milk tea featuring black tea, milk, sugar, and spices that’s similar to Indian chai. To make Nepali milk tea, you can use a black tea base like Nepalese Gold, and add spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper.
What is Nepali black tea?
Black teas produced in Nepal are fully oxidized, which results in darker leaves and a fuller body. Our Nepalese Gold is a great example of a classic Nepali black tea.
What is Nepali white tea?
Nepal also produces some specialty white teas, like our Himalayan Spring. This tea is smooth, bright and buttery, with notes of pear, champagne, sweet grass, asparagus, and stone fruit. It has similar characteristics to a first flush darjeeling.
What is Nepali butter tea?
Many countries in the Himalayan region make butter tea, including Nepal as well as countries like Tibet and India. This unique tea is made by combining black or pu-erh tea leaves with yak butter, water, and salt.