I can't fly to India every time I need tea. Can I?
September 27, 2012 8:00 PM   Subscribe

I have the most bourgeois question ever, but damnit, tea is serious business. Where/how can I get more of this amazing tea from Kerala, India?

Earlier this year, I bought half a kilo of tea from Merchiston Estate in the Ponmudi hills near Trivandrum while there on vacation. This tea is amazing. It's by far the best tea I've ever had. I am completely at a loss to find more.

Can AskMe help? It doesn't appear that Merchiston has an Internet presence.
posted by TheNewWazoo to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
In a local Indian food store, I'm guessing.
posted by Sal and Richard at 8:03 PM on September 27, 2012

What kind of tea is it? Black, oolong, green, white? (gasp) pu-erh?
posted by sbutler at 8:20 PM on September 27, 2012

Just black tea. Orange pekoe.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 8:49 PM on September 27, 2012

Probably not an Indian food store, since they mainly sell the big brands; it takes a specialist importer to bring in single estate and/or top-grade stuff. In the US, Teasophy has a bagged Kerala blend; in Canada, The Tea Haus in London, ON does a organic Ponmudi, though not a single estate; you might want to contact them and see how they arrange their imports, as they apparently get their tea through German suppliers.

Otherwise, I suspect you're out of luck, and I feel your pain.
posted by holgate at 8:52 PM on September 27, 2012

(Though if you want something approximating your, um, special tea, a single estate Nilgiri might do the trick, and those are easier to find in the US.)
posted by holgate at 9:06 PM on September 27, 2012

Not the same estate, but nearby, and orange pekoe? I don't know anything about the retailer, though.
posted by sonmi at 9:42 PM on September 27, 2012

It is most likely a Nilgiri black tea - Nilgiri is what you find in Southwestern India. Here are some teas that will have a similar terroir.
posted by tidecat at 2:19 AM on September 28, 2012

Upton has ten choices for Nilgiri. I've ordered from them before and found them to be reliable.
posted by tuesdayschild at 5:51 AM on September 28, 2012

Going by this random unrelated forum post, it would appear that Merchiston Estates is possibly owned by Jayshree Tea, which has a website with online sales. You could also contact them and ask if that's where their tea comes from.
posted by elizardbits at 5:54 AM on September 28, 2012

You guys are amazing. I'm starting to think finding this specific estate's tea is probably not going to happen, but you've given me enough to start exploring new teas.

Now if I could just find it for 120 INR per kilo... ;)
posted by TheNewWazoo at 8:45 AM on September 28, 2012

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