Why is Darjeeling tea so unique?

Darjeeling comes from the Himalayan region of India a tea must originate in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India, in order to be termed Darjeeling. It is also one of the 5 GI registered teas from India and, perhaps, the most valuable one. (Shout out to neighbouring countries who are “producing” Darjeeling teas in their countries – it’s illegal! You can’t produce Champagne in Bordeaux, can you? And that’s in the same country!)

These teas are believed to be the world’s highest elevation-produced teas, and the altitude produces an excellent climate for the tea plant. As a result, the teas produced in this region have a distinct muscatel flavor and aroma. Some of the tea gardens here are situated at heights ranging from 6000-7000ft.

Another quality that distinguishes Darjeeling tea from others is that it is still prepared in the traditional “Orthodox” manner. This means the teas are grown and produced entirely by hand, with a high level of care, knowledge, and expertise in the handling and production of Pure Darjeeling tea leaves.

Darjeeling First Flush is the picking of the brand new two leaves and a bud in the earliest spring growth of the plant, as early as February and often lasting through April. The tea bushes that were dominant for many months during winter are now delicate and tender and therefore more light, floral, fresh, brisk, and astringent in flavor. 

First Flush Darjeeling teas are generally less oxidized during processing and may appear more greenish in color than a typical black tea. Darjeeling First Flush tea is some of the most prized and premium teas on the global market. It is so special and exclusive that tea connoisseurs consider the first harvest from this region to be the “Champagne” of teas.

The second flush or the Summer Tea is made up of leaves taken during the second harvest in June, and it produces an amber, full-bodied cup. During the summer, as the sun’s strength increases, so does the flavor of this black tea, which is known to be one of the world’s most complex black teas. Between the months of October and November, it is harvested as the third or Autumn Flush. These teas have dark, full-bodied leaves with a fruity flavor. There is no astringency in the teas.

Darjeeling tea has been the preferred tea for tea lovers and connoisseurs across the globe for the last 100 years and more. It’s also the tea that’s on the menu of most royal houses in Europe and Asia. 

When are you trying the Champagne of tea?

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