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Nilgiri Kala Moti

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The tea known as the black pearl of the Nilgiri Hills…

Although most associate tea with North India, it's well worth discovering the teas produced in South India's Nilgiri Hills. Often thought to yield a dark and overtly aromatic brew, the better varieties tend to be far more subtle - our Kala Moti is a case in point.

The name literally translates as 'black pearl', referring to the lightly oxidised leaves which are delicately rolled by hand. The leaves open to an extraordinary size in the infusion, creating a truly multi-layered brew with a tropical fruit sweetness and a lightly nutty, peppery twist to the finish. Enjoyed without milk, it's wonderfully refreshing - there's no other Nilgiri tea quite like it.


The Great Taste Awards have been described as the Oscars of the food world—so you can imagine we were pretty chuffed when our Nilgiri Kala Moti won a coveted two star award this year. The judges were impressed by its “gentle flavour profile”, calling it a “good, clean flavoured tea.”

  • Tea Type

    Black Tea

  • Origin


  • Taste Profile

    Citrus, Floral, Refreshing

  • Tastes like

    Subtly fruity, with a peppery twist

  • Food pairing

    Spinach, mushroom and other strong, hearty foods

  • When to drink

    Divine at any time of day

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1 Review

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* * * * * A self-indulgence and a treat after a hard day by Hans-Christian Fath on 27th September 2016

Nilgiri - a tea not too well known? Tasting it, one must seriously ask why. It has a very nice fruity flavour that is close to a second flush Darjeeling, yet still different enough to be a nice addition to anyone's shelf of tea caddies. A tea like a time out in the garden on a summer evening.



Tea plantations were first introduced to India by the British in the 19th century. Britain had originally relied on China for their tea supplies, but their breakthrough came when the Scottish explorer Robert Bruce discovered tea plants growing wild in Assam. However, that didn’t stop the British from stealing Chinese tea cuttings to plant in the Himalayan region of Darjeeling, and the finest Darjeelings are still cultivated from the original China-Jat bushes. Despite its rather dubious beginnings tea is now an integral part of Indian culture, with sweet, milky chai sold on every street corner.

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The black pearls of South Sea oysters are very rarely ‘black' as such – more a medley dark green, purple, aubergine, blue and silvery grey, a bit like a peacock's plume. The peacock was delclared the national bird of India in 1963, so we've numbered this tea 63 – you'll find a fair few peacocks wandering around the wildlife sanctuaries of the Nilgiri Hills…

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