Calming, mystical, delectable - these are the first words that come to mind when you sip on a mellow brew of the best Darjeeling Tea. The unparalleled quality of Darjeeling Teas is the result of its regional climate, soil conditions and altitude. It cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world. With a unique aroma and a rare fragrance, it has the power to soothe senses.
The story of Darjeeling tea dates back to 150 years. In 1841, Dr. Campbell, the first superintendent of Darjeeling, acquired seeds from Chinese tea plants and planted them near his residence at Beechwood, Darjeeling. He was successful in raising the plant. In 1847, the government established tea estates in this area. With this began the rise of Darjeeling’s tea industry.
In 1866, Darjeeling had 39 gardens producing a total crop of 21000 kilograms of tea. In 1870, the number of gardens increased to 56, producing about 71000 kilograms of tea harvested from 4400 hectares. Today, there are almost 90 tea estates in Darjeeling, producing some of the world’s most well-known teas.
How to make Darjeeling tea?
For one cup of Darjeeling First Flush tea, scoop 1 teaspoon of the black tea leaves into a teapot. Pour 200ml of water freshly boiled at 100°C over the leaves and let the infusion steep for 4 minutes. Pour the hot, fresh tea into a cup, add milk and sugar or honey if required and savour it any time of day.
How does Darjeeling tea taste?
The more you sips on a Darjeeling tea brew, the more you marvel at its exquisiteness. After all, these are the rarest and most prestigious of teas and are savoured worldwide. When brewed correctly, it gives a colour of pale lemon to rich amber. Delicate, sweet, smooth, round, mild, mature, and brisk- these are the attributes associated with Darjeeling tea brews.
Health benefits of Darjeeling tea
This delicate tea is rich in antioxidants and strengthens your immune system. It enhances metabolism and improves mental focus as it courses through your veins, reviving you with every sip.
Types of Darjeeling tea
Darjeeling First Flush teas are among the most prized, with their delicate muscatel flavour and mild astringency. They are harvested from the first week of March to the first week of May. Picked at spring time, First Flush Darjeeling Tea brews into a vibrant red infusion that delights you with its floral fragrance and subtle, refreshing flavour.
Darjeeling Second Flush teas have a full-bodied, well-rounded character and a distinct muscatel tone, so they are often considered the best Darjeeling teas. They are harvested from the end of the third week of May to the third week of June.
The last crop is the Autumnal Flush, harvested from the last week of September to the second week of November. These make for the strongest brew with a unique aroma as it passes through the summer and the monsoon and autumn sunshine after the long monsoon season.
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