Today we’re continuing with our periodic series of shorter episodes focusing on one tea, one producer or one region that may be new to the tea stage or that we’re excited about and want to explore further. We’re joined by our frequent guest Kevin Gascoyne, co-owner of Montreal’s Camellia Sinensis Tea House and one of the world’s leading experts on Indian tea, to explore Lakyrsiew, a young boutique tea garden in India’s very wet Meghalaya state.
Kevin chats with us about the history of tea growing in the Meghalaya region, from its origins in the mid-19th century to its revival in the early 21st century. Meghalaya is situated just south of Assam and has some of the highest rainfalls in the world. We discuss the effects of the climate, soil and altitude of Lakyrsiew on the Darjeeling plants being grown there and the cultivars finding success in this terroir. Kevin gives us some tips on comparing the Lakyrsiew autumnal flush with other teas, particularly Darjeelings, to see how the same cultivars can exhibit different qualities when grown in different terroirs. And we look at the recent development of the Lakyrsiew garden and its efforts to find what Kevin calls the “magic” to unlocking what’s unique to the leaf.
Kevin also gives us a brief update on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Himalayan tea production regions and updates us on Camellia Sinensis’ online and in-person programs and operations during the pandemic.
For more info on Camellia Sinensis, including its online store and blog, go to its website at camellia-sinensis.com.
Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.
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The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff.
This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.
Image of the Lakyrsiew garden courtesy of Camellia Sinensis. Adapted from original.