Pathivara Tea Estate
Grower: Bam Bahadur Yangjan of Pathivara Tea Estate
Location: Pathivara Village in Panchthar, Nepal
Signature Tea: White Forest
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Pathivara Tea Estate is named after its local village, Pathivara. It is in a very remote area of Eastern Nepal, 9 hours to the closest developed area. The tea, composed of Chinese hybrid varietals, grows are at an altitude of 1800-2000 meters (5900-6500ft), and the gardens are surrounded by an old, virgin forest area with indigenous trees over 500 years old. The soil has been tested to have a higher organic matter content, making it ideal for growing tea. The slopes of the garden directly face the snow-covered Mount Kumbhakarna.
It is only 5 kilometers from the Singhalila Wildlife Reserve, a high biodiversity area of the Himalayas, famous for the rehabilitation of Red Panda and the Rare Himalayan Newt.
Although the plantation is 28 years old, the garden was left to grow wild for 10 years during the Maoist insurgency in Nepal. Only the recent arrival of tea entrepreneurs restarted cultivation and the management of the new Pathivara Tea Estate 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 very 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 cold and dry air from the mountains dries the leaves, making the content of dry soluble substances higher. 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.
Pathivara Tea Estate is part of the same growers cooperative federation as Hariyali Cooperative and Teenjure Tea State. All of the members are working together to advance the Nepalese tea industry beyond just being a raw leaf supplier for India.
View our travel diary: Amazing Tea Race - Panchthar, Nepal
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