When the freshly plucked tea leaves for the first flush arrived at the production center, Chandra was the first person to get to work. He knew that time was precious and even a minute worth of delay would reflect on the quality of the tea.
Chandra had started working at the production center as a tea maker five years prior. His calm demeanor always found its way into the tea. His touching of the leaves was gentle and caring. Despite the seemingly stoic face that Chandra holds, his jokes enlivens the atmosphere and makes everyone around him relax.
After the first flush was processed by our production staff, Chandra was responsible for hosting the tea tasting with the whole production team. We gathered around and waited for Chandra to assemble the cups and teas in a line, equidistantly kept from each other. Chandra speaks slowly and with intention. And that was revealed when he explained to us how tea tasting works and how we can experience the full flavor of the first flush black tea.
Chandra's dedication alongside the hard work of dozens of farmers and production staff has made the first flush black tea possible. The tea itself is a miracle - born and bred in the Himalayan microclimate. The tea plants in our farm are relatively young — around 50 years old — and they produce a more fruity and floral taste. Such qualities are rare in the South Asian tea world, particularly in the Indian variants of tea such as Darjeeling teas.
Chandra grew up with these tea bushes. When Chandra was young, he was in the middle of the shift that the village was experiencing ever since our home farm was established through Kanchanjangha Tea Estate and Research Center in 1984. It was only fated that he would find his way with the teas.
Today, the tea leaves that Chandra has helped make has reached customers from dozens of countries throughout the world. Similar is the case with the first flush black tea. He is well aware of how important it is to preserve the quality of the freshly plucked leaves so that the taste that you feel in your palette is the same as the first whiff that he took right after the production process ended.
We all love teas, and most of us eagerly wait for the Nepali first flush. It is a rarity and rightfully so. The least we can do while we sip on this delicacy is to remember Chandra and his team. We would not be able to experience the world the same way if it were not for Chandra.