Pathivara Tea Estate, Panchthar Nepal

Pathivara Tea Estate, Panchthar Nepal

The tea garden is in a very remote area of Eastern Nepal called Pathivara. This tea estate is only 5 kms from the Singhalila Wildlife Reserve, which is considered a high bio-diversity area of the Eastern Himalayas. The forest is famous for the rehabilitation of Red Panda and the Rare Himalayan Newt. The tea grows at an altitude from 1800-2000 metres. This plantation is surrounded by a virgin forest area with an indigenous variety of trees that are more than 500 years old. When the soil was tested two years ago, the organic matter content of the soil was 12%; usually, the organic matter in other tea growing areas is less than 5%, since tea is most often a monocrop. The plantation is directly facing mountain kumbhakarna. Although the plantation is 28 years old, during the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, the garden was left to grow 10 years in the wild. Only recent intrusion of entrepreneurs started cultivation and management of a new tea processing unit in 2012. The unique thing about this garden is since temperatures are below 23 degrees throughout the year, and precipitation is above 1800 mm per annum, the yield or the harvest is too low. The yield is 50-60 kgs of made tea per hectare, compared to the world average of 1.1 ton per hectare. Since the yield is very low, the tea-maker’s focus is on developing only specialty teas from this garden. The garden faces snow-peaked mountains. The cold and dry air from the mountains dries the leaves, making the content of dry soluble substances higher. The tea plants are China hybrid plants. To keep the leaves as natural as possible, very little machinery is used to produce this tea. Almost 75% of the production is carried out by using natural air from the snow mountains and sunshine. As per the variety of the tea, plucking is considered to be the most important aspect of tea-crafting in this garden. Plucking is usually carried out as per the flush, season, and the variety of tea that is to be produced. The area is completely pollution-free so the natural process of oxidation takes place in a very clean environment. Although the leaves look very delicate, the teas if brewed for a longer time has a lot of strength.

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