The age old tea was once grown only in China, but today it is cultivated in approximately forty-one countries of the world. With changing times, tea has changed course and usage due to its increasing varieties, but has never gone out of fashion. There are around twenty thousand distinctions of tea made in the world. Yet, no two teas taste exactly the same as every great tea has a distinctive trademark flavour. All of the tea produced in different regions, is a contribution of a particular character and style to numerous varieties of tea. Geographical stating, one of the most unique varieties of tea is, Darjeeling tea. Sitting at the edge of Himalayas, the Darjeeling region of India covers only 181sq km, but produces one of the most famous teas of the world and the highest quality tea in India.
Just like any other tea, Darjeeling tea is also harvested three times a year, popularly known as flush. The first flush, harvested in March – April, is the most flavourful and has warm brown leaves with green tones. Second flush, harvested in May – June, has distinct notes of muscat (grape). While the autumnal flush, harvested in October – November, has deeper maltier flavours.
Darjeeling First Flush Tea
The picking of the new tea leaves in the earliest spring growth of the plant, beginning from the month of March and often lasting up to April is known as Darjeeling first flush tea. These leaves are more delicate and thus more light, floral, fresh and brisk in flavor. First Flush Darjeeling teas are generally less oxidised during processing and may appear more greenish in colour. This is done in order to preserve its flavours. It is one of the most loved teas in the world, thus the harvesters call it “Champagne” of teas.
Darjeeling Second Flush Tea
Second Flush produces more mature leaves with a mauve hue and silver tips. The leaf growth during this period is much more rapid than the first flush. These leaves yield a stronger yet smoother flavour for the finished tea. Teas from this flush are well known for their muscatel and fruity flavor.
Darjeeling Autumnal Flush Tea
The Autumnal flush tea is picked in October and November, and yields a finished tea which yields a rich copper-colored liquor, making it nutty and smooth in flavor. During winter season, the tea plants shed their leaves and during this period the tea plant is squeezes out the last of what it has to offer before it goes dormant for the winter.
Darjeeling Green Tea:
Darjeeling Green Tea is cultivated in the mountains of Mahabharata Range or Lesser Himalaya, the most natural habitat for plants to grow. Here, the environmental conditions play a significant role in the growth of high quality tea leaves.
Harvesting process of Darjeeling Green Tea:
After handpicking the tea leaves, the leaves are left outside to air dry. Then they are left to wither for 24 hours to let excess water evaporate, making the leaves completely dry. Next, they are pan fried and steamed, in order to prevent the oxidisation process and neutralise the enzymes. After steaming, the leaves are all set for the rolling process in differing tightness. This method of preparation helps the leaves retain its green colour.
Right time to consume Darjeeling Green Tea
We are all aware that caffeine content in green tea blends is low. However, it is not a good idea to drink more than 3 cups a day. Nevertheless, drinking green tea after a few hours of eating improves mental and physical health. Although Darjeeling green tea blends are not as rich in caffeine as coffee or black tea, they still boost our energy. You should wait at least for two hours after a meal before drinking green tea. This way, the catechins in tea will not react with casein (a slow-releasing protein found in animal and milk products) which you might have consumed during your meal.
If you have a sensitive tummy, it isn’t smart to drink tea on an empty stomach. This can cause discomfort. If you do like to drink tea first thing in the morning, opt for a cup of white tea. This tea tends to be easier on an empty stomach.
The greatness of Darjeeling tea cannot just be summed up in its geographical boundaries, flavour and aroma, as it also has numerous benefits to serve. Some of them are improving metabolism and immunity power. We’re sure you wouldn’t want to miss out on a drink so unique as well as wholesome for the body.
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