About Seeyok Tea Garden
Darjeeling’s Seeyok Tea Garden is nestled at the top end of the Mirik Valley not far from the Nepalese border and near the town of Sukhiapokhri. It was founded by the British back in 1869 and was one of the first gardens of the region to go organic back in the 1990’s. The steep sides of the deep valley plunge down to 1100m in the valley floor and highest sections of the garden are just over 1800m. From the top there are beautiful views down the valley to many of the World class gardens that line the valley sides.
Seeyok have won many awards for their teas and have made a great reputation for their classic, seed-grown, original plants. In recent years they have also planted some sections of clonal AV2. They are also well known for their exemplary efforts towards the quality of life of their workforce and were pioneers in the Fairtrade movement in the Himalaya.
At the very early stages of the season, before the whole garden is pushing fresh leaves, some sections give small amounts of material that can be harvested.
As they are processed through the factory, these very early leaves end up in small heaps in the sorting room. They are called “Ghannis” and are some of the finest, most aromatic leaves of the entire year. But at just a few kilos each, they don’t amount to the quantities an average client would buy. So, these micro lots are very carefully blended together to make up the first, very prestigious invoices of the season.
As Kevin passes from garden to garden each spring to buy for our catalogue, he always samples the previous day’s manufacture and a selection of these fresh ghanni. This gives him the opportunity to taste these special ‘moments’ separately, before they are blended. Once in a while, a special ghanni really captures his attention. Decision has to be made quickly for the lot to be grabbed and kept in its pure form. This year’s Seeyok Second Flush, at only 10kg, in one of these very special batches.
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