Types of Nepali Tea: Facts About Nepalese Tea September 2, 2022 05:14

Type of nepali tea

Tea has traditionally been cultivated in Nepal for centuries and throughout the ages, the nation has established a name for itself as a producer of premium teas. Nepalese people love tea. When you get a chance to visit Nepal, you will find groups of people chatting away at squares, little tea shops, enjoying every sip of delicious Nepali tea. Despite the popularity of tea, people are still unaware of the varieties that Nepali tea has to offer. This guide is dedicated to those who are new to Nepali tea and don’t know the types of Nepali tea available in the market. Keep scrolling.

History of Nepali Tea

Parts of the  great Tea Horse Road of the late 6th Century,  a trade route used by Tea traders from Yunnan China for transportation  of their teas, went through Tibet, Myanmar,Bhutan leading to Nepal, India and further. Nepal as an ancient nation of that era played its role in development of tea trade by becoming consumers and traders of the chinese teas. 

organic tea sets

Nepal is a relatively small country but it has a long history of Tea cultivation.

Mountain tribes such as Limbu, Rai etc who thrived in the Eastern mountains of Nepal, cultivated the tea crop for their own domestic use throughout their history.

Modern Organized Plantation however  started when Ilam Tea Estate was established in the Hills of Ilam District in 1863. The first official Tea plants were grown in Nepal from the saplings the Chinese Emperor gifted the then Prime Minister of Nepal, Jung Bahadur Rana.As of today Nepal consists of more than 85 plantations where superior and aromatic tea are produced in large quantities.


In the beginning, Nepali teas were compensating for the quality of Darjeeling tea. However, in 1978, Ilam set up its own factories for tea manufacturing jumpstarting a stagnant industry.  By 1982 Nepal started producing its own fine quality tea. At the time, then King of Nepal His Majesty Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev declared five districts Ilam, Jhapa, Panchthar, Dhankuta, and Terhathum as the ‘Nepal Tea Zones.’ Except for Jhapa, all other districts are in the hilly region of Nepal.


Modern Nepali Tea Industry

In the early 20th century, independent organizations took steps to refine Nepali tea and improve its quality, which ultimately created a commercially viable tea industry in Nepal. Nepali Tea was introduced to the world much after Darjeeling tea, however, due to its color, fusion, taste and aroma, Nepali tea is considered the finest in the world today. More than 16,000 hectares of the hilly-mountain regions in Nepal are covered with tea gardens.

Types of Nepali Tea

Nepal produces a variety of teas, and while all Nepali tea are made from the Camellia sinensis plant, the variation comes with the way they are processed.

Different types of nepali tea

There are dozens of varieties of Nepali tea but below we have listed the most popular ones.

  1. Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is a traditional orthodox Nepali tea and it is made by passing tea leaves through a special oxidation process. Oxidation is a process in which the enzymes locked inside the tea leaves come in contact with the oxygen, turning the leaves darker in color. The process is similar to the browning of an Apple when we cut it open and leave it in the open air. The longer it reacts with the oxygen the higher its oxidation level is.

oolong tea from nepal

Tea leaves are plucked carefully, hand-rolled, and left for oxidation to create an aromatic taste in the tea. The leaves are left alone in the open air until its oxidation level reaches between 50-70%. Oolong tea leaves are pretty brownish and we can feel a fruity and earthy taste as we take a sip of brewed oolong tea.

How to brew Oolong Tea?

There are many ways to prepare Oolong tea but the following brewing methods might give you the best taste possible.


  • Smooth-Refreshing
    • Get 10 oz of filtered water and heat until it boils.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of oolong tea leaves into a clear glass or in a Steeping cup.
    • Pour the boiling hot water into the glass or steeping cup containing tea leaves.
    • Let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes until its color is deep golden.
    • Strain and enjoy your oolong tea.
    • Repeat for the second infusion, adding 1 min extra steeping time.

  • Robust- Energy High
    • Get 10 oz of filtered water and boil it.
    • Add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of oolong tea leaves into a clear glass or in a Steeping cup.
    • Pour the boiling hot water into the glass or steeping cup containing tea leaves.
    • Let it steep for 5 minutes until its color is rusty golden.
    • Strain and enjoy your oolong tea.
    • Repeat for the second infusion, adding 1 min extra steeping time.

    Facts about Oolong tea

    • Oolong tea is great for losing weight as it contains antioxidants and lipid-lowering properties.
    • Oolong tea is also popularly known as “Wu Long Tea”, this is due to the two methods of Romanizing the Mandarin characters.
    • Oolong tea is prepared from the same plant i.e. Camellia sinensis.
    • It can remove the free radicals from your body as it contains polyphenolic compounds.
    • The cultivation of this tea is most common in two countries, China and Taiwan. Rare Himalayan Nepal Oolong Tea is a different experience altogether, which is thick and brothy, with very low astringency.  

    2.  Black Tea

    Nepali black tea

    Ilam Black tea is robust Nepali Black tea widely produced in the Eastern Himalayas of Nepal. It is majorly used as a breakfast tea. It can be served by itself or with milk. Black tea is a  fully oxidized tea. Its oxidation level ranges between 80-100%. Ilam Black Tea is one of the most consumed Nepali teas that competes with Darjeeling Black Tea. When brewed, it releases reddish-golden color, providing a flavorful and well-balanced cup of tea.

     

    How to Brew Black Tea?

    There are various ways to prepare Black tea, we recommend the following.


  • Robust-Refreshing
    • Get 10 oz filtered water and heat it until it boils.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of tea leaves into your Steeping cup.
    • Pour the boiling hot water into the steeping cup.
    • Let it steep for 3-5 minutes.
    • Wait until it turns deep golden.
    • Enjoy your blck tea.
    • Repeat for the second infusion.

  • Robust- Energy High
    • Get 10 oz filtered water and heat it until it boils.
    • Add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of tea leaves into your Steeping cup.
    • Pour the boiling hot water into the steeping cup.
    • Let it steep for 5 minutes.
    • Wait until it turns rusty golden.
    • Enjoy your robust-energy high black tea.
    • Repeat for the second infusion.

    Facts about Black tea

    • Black tea contains theaflavins that eliminates abnormal cells in a body before they create damage or transform into cancerous cells.
    • According to research, consumption of black tea lowers the chance of heart stroke.
    • Black tea contains major bioactive compounds like polyphenols and helps to reduce the chance of diabetes.



    3. Green Tea

    Natural organic Green tea

    Green tea is a tea that doesn’t go through the oxidation process. Its leaves are slightly steamed which gives it an aromatic taste. Green tea undergoes less processing than Black and Oolong Tea. Unlike Black tea  and oolong tea, Green tea is protected from being oxidized and no withering process is needed to create this tea.


    Most people have Green tea as a healthy beverage. Green tea is really helpful when it comes to losing weight and detoxing your body. 


    How to Brew Green Tea?

    You can brew green tea in many different ways but these two are the most common ones.


  • Mild-Smooth
    • Get 10 oz of filtered water and boil it. 
    • Remove the water from boiling and let it sit for 2 min, letting it cool down to about 165 F.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves into a glass or in a Steeping cup.
    • Pour the hot water into the glass or the steeping cup.
    • Let it steep for 3 minutes.
    • Wait until it turns light golden with a subtle greenish hue.
    • Enjoy every sip of it.
    • Repeat for a second infusion.

  • Energy-High

    • Get 10 oz filtered water and boil it. 
    • Remove the water from boiling and let it sit for 2 min, letting it cool down to about 165 F.
    • Add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of leaves into a glass or a Steeping cup.
    • Pour the hot water into the clear glass or steeping cup containing tea buds. 
    • Let it steep for 3 minutes. 
    • Wait until it turns bright golden.
    • Enjoy every sip of it.
    • Repeat for multiple infusions, add 1 min to steep each time.

    Facts about Green tea

    • Contains bioactive compounds like polyphenols and catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) that helps to minimize the rate of cell damage.
    • It contains caffeine and theanine known as a stimulant that helps to boost brain function.
    • By boosting metabolic rate, Green tea burns the fat in the body.
    • It contains antioxidant elements, resulting in a lower risk of cancer.
    • It helps to maintain the health of the brain as you age.

    4. Golden Tips Tea

    Golden Tips Tea

    Golden tips tea is the highest grade Black tea that is produced in high altitude (7000 ft- 7500 feet) in the Mid-eastern Himalayas of Nepal. It is called “Golden tips tea” because young tea buds are early-harvested. The tips are goldish in color and when steeped, it releases a golden amber hue with smooth velvety texture. Golden tips tea has a nutty taste close to popcorn and roasted peanuts.

    How to Brew Golden Tips Tea?

    We recommend two brewing methods for Golden tips tea for best results.


  • Mild-Smooth
    • Get 10 oz of filtered water and bring it to boil.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of Golden tips tea into a glass or in a Steeping cup.
    • Pour the boiling hot water into the glass or the steeping cup.
    • Let it steep for 4 minutes until its color turns light golden.
    • Strain and enjoy your golden tips tea.
    • Repeat for the second infusion.

  • Smooth-Energizing
    • Get 10 oz of filtered water and boil it.
    • Add 1.5 teaspoons of Golden tips tea into a glass or in a Steeping cup.
    • Pour the boiling hot water into the glass or steeping cup.
    • Let it steep for 5-6 minutes until the color is dark golden.
    • Strain and enjoy your golden tips tea.
    • Repeat for the second infusion.

    Facts about Golden tips tea

    • Golden tips tea contains a high amount of flavonoids that promotes heart health.
    • Drinking this tea beverage in a regular manner ensures the good health of bacteria that improve the gut health.
    • Due to the high presence of polyphenols, the regular consumption of Golden tea might prevent cancer.

    5. Silver Tips Tea

    silver tips tea in cup

    Unlike black, green, or oolong tea, which is made from tea leaves, Silver tips tea is made from single-origin unopened tea buds. They are handpicked and processed into the highest-grade Tea. Best known for its long and velvety silvery buds, Silver tips tea are processed into the highest-grade White tea.


    After a long winter dormancy in the tea mountains of Nepal, as soon as spring blooms, tender tea buds with a pointed needle appear on the tea plants, which are plucked  and then immediately dried out into white tea, to make Silver tips tea. This tea is one of the rarest Nepali tea because it can only be harvested once in a year.

    How to Brew Silver Tips Tea?

    There are various ways to brew Silver tips tea but these three methods are the common ones.


  • Milder-Soothing
    • Get 8oz filtered water and heat it until it boils.
    • Remove it from the stove and let it cool down to 80C-90C or 180F-190F. It may take about 2 minutes.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of silver tips tea into a cup.
    • Pour the water into the glass containing the tea buds.
    • Watch how beautifully the buds sink to the bottom one by one after a few minutes.
    • Let it steep for 10 minutes.
    • The color turns faint golden. Enjoy every sip of it.

  • Mild-Calming
    • Get 8 oz filtered water and boil it.
    • Add about 1.5 teaspoons of silver tip tea into a cup.
    • Pour the boiling hot water into the cup containing tea buds.
    • Let it steep for 12 minutes.
    • Watch how beautifully the buds sink to the bottom one by one after a few minutes.
    • The color turns bright golden. Enjoy every sip of it.

    Facts about Silver tips tea 

    • HIghest grade Silver tips teas are plucked only on the night of the full moon.
    • It is believed that the sun's rays affect its aura, its aroma, so a very special tea leaf is picked before dawn.


    Nepali tea is starting to gain popularity globally as a unique specialty tea. Mentioned above are only a few types of Nepali tea. You can explore more Nepali teas in our inventory.