Portrait: Bermiok Tea Garden
The small Indian State of Sikkim lies just north of the Darjeeling region in the Indian Himalaya. Until recently Sikkim had only one tea garden called Temi which was established in 1969 as a government project. Temi has been an annual feature in the Camellia sinensis catalogue for many years.
In 2003 the entire State of Sikkim went completely organic and that same year a local family set to clearing a small amount of forest to plant tea using bio-dynamic principals. Using Darjeeling clonal plants, they cultivated the new plantation, letting it grow for 5 years before building a tea factory to process the leaves in 2008.
Bermiok Tea Garden is relatively low for a Himalayan garden at just 750-900 elevation, they currently have 12 acres of tea planted. Set among the forests of Teesta Valley, this small family estate is cultivated using biodynamic principles and very basic traditional methods to produce the tea. Through various farming projects, including coffee, this talented producer has built up an impressive expertise in a very short time. In the last few years their teas have gone from strength to strength. Camellia Sinensis is very lucky to have exclusivity for these rare batches of Himalayan leaf.
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