A Beginner’s Guide to Darjeeling Tea

health Benefits of Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea is procured from the Darjeeling district of West Bengal in India. It is available in all four varieties of tea namely green tea, white tea, oolong tea and black tea. If brewed properly, Darjeeling tea is a thin-bodied and light colored infusion which has a floral aroma. The unique flavor and aroma of this tea have resulted in Darjeeling tea frequently being called as the Champagne of teas. The taste of Darjeeling tea sometimes includes slight astringent tannic characteristics as well as a musky spiciness which is sometimes described as muscatel based on the flavor profile of the muscatel grapes. If you have never tried Darjeeling tea before, then you have come to the right place. In this article, you will be able to gain much knowledge about Darjeeling tea.

Which variety of tea plant is used for cultivating Darjeeling tea?
To cultivate Darjeeling tea, generally, the small-leaved Chinese variety of theCamellia sinensis plant is used.

What is the history of Darjeeling tea?

In the Indian district of Darjeeling, tea planting began in 1841 by Archibald Campbell. He was a civil surgeon with the Indian Medical service. In the year 1839, Mr. Campbell was transferred as superintendent of Darjeeling from Kathmandu, Nepal. After two years in 1841, he brought seeds of the Chinese variety of the Camellia sinensis tea plant from Kumaun and thus began to experiment with tea planting in Darjeeling. During the same period, the British government also established tea nurseries. The commercial development of Darjeeling tea started during the 1850s.

What are the different varieties of Darjeeling tea?

Darjeeling teas are traditionally classified as a type of black tea. However, in the modern methods of producing Darjeeling tea, a hard wither technique is used which results in incomplete oxidation and therefore makes them a form of Oolong tea. Other varieties of Darjeeling tea such as green tea, oolong tea, and black tea are also produced.
The following are the different flushes of Darjeeling tea-

• The first flush is harvesting during mid-March after the spring rains. This types of tea have a gentle, very light color, aroma, and mild astringency.

• After the first flush and before the second flush, there is a harvest.

• After this, there is a second flush which is harvested in the month of June. This type of tea produces amber, full-bodied, muscatel-flavored cup.

• The Monsoon or rains tea is harvested during the rainy season. This harvest is done between the second flush and the autumnal flush. This produces a variety which is less withered; more oxidized and is usually sold at lower prices.

• The final flush of Darjeeling tea is the autumnal flush. It is harvested in the autumn after the rainy season. This produces a somewhat less delicate flavor and less spicy tones but has a fuller body and a darker color.

Types of Darjeeling tea-

Darjeeling white tea- This brew has a delicate aroma and a pale golden color. It has a mellow taste and a hint of sweetness. This variety of Darjeeling tea has leaves which are very fluffy and light. The Darjeeling white tea is hand-picked and rolled then withered in the sun. This makes it a rare variety of tea.

Darjeeling oolong tea- This type of Darjeeling tea is lighter than the Darjeeling black tea during the first flush since it is semi-oxidized. The brew appears light orange in color. The Darjeeling oolong tea in the second flush is more popular than other varieties. Darjeeling oolong tea is made from finely plucked leaves where generally two leaves and a bud are picked. The leaves and young buds are sometimes withered naturally in sun and air. The withered leaves are then hand-rolled and pan-fried.

Darjeeling green tea- Darjeeling green tea is very much popular and is produced by several estates in Darjeeling. Darjeeling green tea is not fermented but is steamed to stop oxidation before it starts. This results in preserving most of the polyphenols. Darjeeling green tea variant, therefore, has about 60% more polyphenol content than other black teas.

Darjeeling Tea terms one should know about?

Below mentioned are the tea terms which are used to describe the Darjeeling loose leaf teas in its raw, dry, or infused state.
• Bloom- This is used to refer to the silken sheen, the silvery hairy luster on the tea leaves. It is a result of the neat distribution of fine pubescence on the surface of the leaf.
• Bright- This is used to refer to the appearance of the infused tea leaves. The hues for Darjeeling teas are a lively bright in the first flush, a bright copper-purple in the second flush tea leaves and a pale brown in autumn flush tea leaves.

2 Replies to “A Beginner’s Guide to Darjeeling Tea”

  1. Times are chnginag for the better if I can get this online!

  2. Bradly Sprinkel says: Reply

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