A new tea from the man behind some of Nepal's best teas in recent years has just arrived at Karma Tea HQ.

Andrew Gardner is one of the best planters and tea makers in Nepal. This year, his current project - the Siddha Devi Tea Estate located in the region of Ilam in eastern Nepal - achieved international tea glory winning the World’s Best Tea at the World Tea Expo.

Every tea plant Andrew touches seems to turn to gold which is why we're so excited to have a small batch of his oolong teas from Siddha Devi for Karma Tea customers.

Andrew’s Story

Andrew's journey in the world of tea is steeped in adventures and stories. Growing up in Darjeeling, one of the world's most revered tea growing regions, Andrew was surrounded by a vibrant local tea culture from a very young age.

 

Although not originally from a tea making family (his father was in the Indian Air Force) he was always most at home outside in nature. And so when he was offered the opportunity to join the tea industry as a trainee in 1985 after university he jumped at the chance. 

After training in all aspects of tea production at some of the best gardens in Darjeeling at the time, Andrew gravitated towards eastern hills of Nepal, just a few hours across the border which was just starting to emerge as a region for tea. Andew moved there in 1994 and found himself taking on more pioneering, start-up tea growing projects.

One of his first projects was setting up the now celebrated Guranse tea garden where he practiced organic farming from the start.  In 2001, he helped to establish the Jun Chiyabari tea garden, another now world renowned tea garden. Five years ago, he started work on reviving the Siddha Devi garden in the region of Ilam which before had lay abandoned for over 10 years.

 

Each time, Andrew has been instrumental in building up the projects from scratch; from identifying the land, to building the factory, recruiting staff locally and training a new generation of teamakers.  Not an easy feat in isolated, rural regions where experience with tea manufacturing is generally very limited. 

Over his 35 years in the industry, Andrew has perfected the formula of building tea gardens, growing tea organically, making exceptional tea which mix an element of innovation with more traditional tea making.  In fact, Andrew takes most pride in experimenting and producing more unique Himalayan teas like whites and oolong style teas, which have now very much become a signature of Nepal tea innovation.

Try Andew's Mountain Oolong here


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