In September I was lucky enough to visit Meizhou in China and attend the 2nd Annual Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival. On that trip I met Shamim Khan and his lovely family who had been invited by the Chinese Government on the same trip. Shamim was very eager to share with me three new products he had produced on his tea estate, Halda Valley. He has been working with a team of Chinese tea agronomists to recreate totally Chinese flavour, aroma and ‘style’ teas. The end results are simply excellent!
Shamim was kind enough to give me a sample of each tea and after carrying them in my case back from China and getting over my jetlag I gave them a proper and relaxed tasting session in my kitchen at home. Immediately when I returned to work, I sent Shamim an email asking for prices and shipping costs as I knew that these three excellent teas would appeal to many of my customers palates and would be very well received.
The Halda Valley Black Tea contains 20 x 2.5g sachets which on opening show beautifully made golden tipped leaves with a flavour that easily competes with our Golden Monkey King Tea and is modelled on flavour profiles cultivated above 1800 metres in the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian, China. So what Shamim has produced is a top quality, truly authentic Chinese tea but in Bangladesh!
The Halda Valley Green Tea comes in a 55 gram glass jar with an appealing wooden stopper and has become my go to Green Tea of choice. On the run-up to Christmas I had several long car journeys to make, one of which was over 400 miles. For each of these journeys I brewed a pot of the Halda Valley Dragon Well Green Tea and filled my travel mug from it. Its delicious flavours combined with the gentle application of caffeine kept me focused and sharp on the long journeys through the dreadful English weather. The Green Tea itself is beautifully made with flat rounded jade green leaves. The brewed liquor has a delightful, slightly sweet astringency and when brewed at 85 degrees for 4 minutes gives a flavour that will rival many China Longjing Green Teas.
Halda Valley Silver Needle White Tea is another beautifully packaged masterpiece. When brewed correctly (water at 75-80 degrees and 3-4 minutes) its delightful aroma, apricot hinted liquor and its soft, refreshing flavour make this white tea worthy of addition to any connoisseurs tea cupboard.