Darjeeling Black Tea | Darjeeling Green Tea | Darjeeling Oolong Tea | Darjeeling White Tea | Darjeeling Tea Blends | Lopchu Tea | Orange Pekoe Tea | Silver Needle Tea | Darjeeling First Flush | Darjeeling Second Flush | Darjeeling Autumn Flush
Darjeeling Tea Origin
Darjeeling, a town known for its breathtaking views is India's pride when it comes to producing high quality tea varieties like black, oolong, green, and white tea. It is home to many legacy gardens that hold tea plants that are over a 100 years old.
Tea was introduced to India by Arthur Campbell in 1841. In the year 1847, many tea nurseries were set and by 1846, the Darjeeling tea company came up. Darjeeling tea was the first tea to receive the GI tag and has somewhat become a part of the country's identity.
Spring, summer, and autumn teas
Darjeeling has 3 main harvest seasons; Spring, Summer, and Autumn. The tea harvested in these different seasons differ from each other in taste and texture.
The spring harvest from February to April is the favourite of many because of its complex flavour. It is processed for a lesser time and has a floral and fruity taste.
Summer, the peak harvest season in Darjeeling and Assam comes right after spring and lasts until mid-June. It is during this season, speciality tea muscatels heralded as the ‘champagne’ of teas, is produced. The name comes from the muscat grapes, flavours found in these teas.
The tea produced in the last harvest season, Autumn has a more woody and musky quality to it.
What to expect from a Darjeeling tea?
Some of the world’s best teas including the high-grade Lopchu tea is produced in Darjeeling. It's classic, delicate and has a particular sweetness to it.
Traditionally the tea produced in Darjeeling was black. Today, although the Darjeeling black tea is still famous and produced in large quantities, with over 90 estates covering 17,500 hectares covering tea plantation, the production of greens, whites, and oolongs have also started. The Darjeeling green tea is especially known for its fresh organic taste and health benefits. The best Darjeeling teas are produced where the air is cold, rainfall is generous, the sun is temperate and the soil is sandy-loamy. This setup is only available at an elevation of 2500 - 5000 feet.
The Darjeeling tea garden is home to many chinary plants, as well as some novel clones. But no matter what tea plant the tea comes from, the teas are immensely fragrant, perfumy and have a captivating quality to them.
TYPES OF DARJEELING TEA
There are different types of Darjeeling tea comprising of different flavors and each of these teas offer a unique taste and benefit to its drinker. Darjeeling black tea is the most popular and preferred worldwide by tea connoisseurs. Then comes other types like the Darjeeling oolong, white and green teas.
DARJEELING TEA FLAVORS & SEASON
Darjeeling tea comes in many different types of flavors. These flavors depend on the season the tea was harvested in. Typically there are 4 main harvest seasons. The teas harvested in Spring are known as the first flush teas, these are known to have a mild astringency. After spring we have the second flush teas, which are harvested in the summer season and have the distinct muscatel flavor. Next follows the monsoon and the autumn tea harvesting season.
DARJEELING TEA GRADES
Darjeeling tea grades depend essentially by the size of the tea leaves (full leaf, broken etc). This to a large extent also determines the quality of the tea and therefore their price. Here are the popular and different grades of Darjeeling tea:
1. SFTGFOP: Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. These are whole leaf tea and of highest grade.
2. FTGBOP: Fine Tippy Golden Broken Orange Pekoe. These are broken leaves
3. GFOF: Golden Flowery Orange Fannings. Smaller than the broken leaves
4. D: Dust. This is tea dust and are of the lowest grade and price.
The price of Darjeeling teas depends on the grade type and lower the grade, lower the price.
Darjeeling teas are famous and well-honoured in India and all over the world for its flavor and quality. If you are a tea lover and haven’t tried Darjeeling tea yet, you are surely missing out. You can buy Darjeeling tea online in India and get exposed to a number of different tea flavors and infusions. Remember to check the grade, and flush type and you are good to go.