Darjeeling Yanki Special

$ 6.00

Yanki Special 2nd Flush is a black tea from Darjeeling, harvested and crafted in small batches from small farms. It is one of the first Darjeeling teas of its kind in the market, as most Darjeelings are from large estates. The small-batch processing allows for a higher standard of quality and ethics for the growers and tea-makers.

Yankhu Tamang founded the Society to "Promote Small Farmers, Socially and Economically”. The group is trying to change the narrative of Darjeeling tea production by empowering small growers to make their own tea, including both standard Darjeeling teas and handcrafted quality batches like this Yanki Special Darjeeling. This empowerment of the local Gorkhas, who have always supplied the manpower for the big tea estates, cannot fail to improve the quality of the famous Darjeeling tea and improve the livelihoods of the farmers and tea-workers.

Outside absentee ownership of those large estates has led to a decline in overall quality and a commodification of most Darjeeling on the market, as well as being a factor in the unrest3 currently happening in the region.


  • Origin: Mirik Valley, Darjeeling, India
  • Grower/Teamaster: Darjeeling Small Growers Society/Yankhu Tamang
  • Elevation: 2,100m (7,000ft)
  • Harvest Date: Spring 2016, 2nd Flush
  • Cultivar: Camellia Sinensis Sinensis
  • Cultivation: Natural (Organic, but no certification)4
  • Processing Notes:  harvested and crafted in small batches; hand-rolled
  • History/Pedigree: One of the first small-farm Darjeeling on the market, as most Darjeeling comes from large estates

Brewing Suggestions1:

  • Water: 190˚-205˚F
  • Tea: 2g per 4oz of water (about a level 2 tsp2)
  • Infusion: 3 minutes for 1 infusion

Tasting Notes:

  • Smooth and even flavor with hints of sweetness that vary over different brewing parameters


1 Brewing suggestions are just that. Try it the suggested way then experiment. In this case I suggest first experimenting with the infusion time. I cupped at 2, 3, and 4 minutes at 175˚ and liked the subtle sweetness at 3 minutes the best. You can also vary the temperature and experiment with multiple infusions.

2 Weighing your tea is always the best way to control your dosage. I provide approximate volume measures for convenience but they can be problematic due to the variance in tea leaf shape and size. It’s best to use the single appropriate volume measure for the tea, i.e., don’t try to measure 1.5TB using two spoons meant to measure 1 TB and a ½ TB. Use an actual 1.5 TB measuring spoon. Yes, they make them! I like the oblong ones to handle longer leaf styles.

3 The Hindu, July 25, 2017

4 The Small Growers follow the traditional farming practices of their area. Small farmers in the countryside almost always use natural methods for their gardens, as chemicals are very expensive. This is ideal, as natural farming preserves soil health and land resources. The growers encourage biodiverse agriculture among themselves, and are against monoculture farming. Various shrubs, herbs, and fruits grow alongside the teas in the fields.

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