Selim Hill is another reasonably new tea estate for Tea Trekker. With 87 tea gardens producing tea in Darjeeling, we will most likely never represent them all, However, we do like to introduce our Darjeeling enthusiasts to new gardens. We have become quite fond of the teas from this garden and use them extensively in blends and recommend the garden as a producer of classic Darjeeling teas.
This tea is plucked and manufactured in the early days of spring just as the main 1st Flush harvest begins. It is in the category of a limited production early spring tea and was made in a small quantity. The dry leaf shows the pure colors of expertly-manufactured tea leaf and is abundantly sprinkled with buds – the silver tips. While its appearance is more that of a culinary spice blend, it is indeed a fine Darjeeling black tea manufacture. The combination of leaf and tip is in good balance to give the tea an elegant appearance and an extremely smooth flavor.
Selim Hill teas are organic and the gardens feature extensive plantings of old China bush tea varietals, which we always look for; and this pluck also includes a good percentage of modern clonal varietals that provide an incredible backbone to the steeped tea. This mix of tea bushes, combined with the terroir of Darjeeling, give a clarity of flavor and a pure, Darjeeling taste to the tea.
When the dry leaf is first encountered, this tea has a gentle woodsiness and mossy element, which is most intriguing and desirable. We were impressed by the intense aromatic quality of both the dry leaf and the tea liquor. When the leaf is wet that woodsiness vanishes and is replaced by a soft aroma and confident Darjeeling presence. When we returned to re-steep the leaf or to just observe the leaf after a bit of time had passed since the tea was steeped, the aroma had a quite pleasant background aroma of fresh (garden) mint (not peppermint or spearmint, but the classic garden mint). This can be (and in this instance was) an indicator of a fresh, light style. The abundant amount of tips adds a buoyancy to the flavor and aroma that counterpoints the potentially sharp and slightly astringent nature of this tea. This tea is for those who like a Darjeeling that shows the brisker style, and may even benefit from the addition of a splash of milk. The leaf is evenly cut, has little green, and shows itself long and open when steeped. The liquor steeps to a clear and deep light amber. We could drink this tea all day!
Selim Hill is an organic tea estate located in Kurseong area and in Darjeeling district. It lies east of the Rohini Tea Garden and just south of the Giddapahar Tea Estate, two of our other favorite Darjeelings. The location of the estate is considered mid-level, and the gardens are perched on a hilly slope with varying elevations that rise up to some 3,500 ft and faces the mountain on its north..It is split into upper and lower segments and includes four villages. There are over 200 workers employed in the garden. Selim Hill was established in 1870.