India Darjeeling Black Tea

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The Darjeeling region of India is located in a spectacular mountain setting in the Indian Himalaya. This region was settled by the British as a hill-station and spa in the 1800’s because of the ‘healthy air.’ By the mid 1800’s the English began to cultivate tea in the hills and valleys throughout the Darjeeling region, and English tea drinkers developed a passion for the taste of this tea.

Today Darjeeling tea is called the ‘Champagne of Tea’ and it has loyal tea drinking followers worldwide. Among India’s diverse collection of fine teas it is known as ‘ the exotic one.’ It is beloved for its clarity of taste, invigorating aroma and smooth, crisp flavor. But Darjeeling teas vary quite a bit in style and flavor depending on the season in which they are plucked. Tea lovers should be familiar with a few elements of Darjeeling tea manufacture so that they can understand what they are purchasing and then determine what they like.

At Tea Trekker we offer two seasonal harvests from Darjeeling:

1st Flush Darjeeling (spring plucked tea: spicy, pleasantly astringent and can be ‘green’ish in style)
2nd Flush Darjeeling (late spring/early summer plucking: smooth and rich in style with the characteristic Muscatel [raisin-y] flavor and aroma).

These seasonal teas vary significantly in style even when manufactured by the same tea garden. When available, we like to feature an Autumnal Darjeeling as well. Plucked when cool weather returns, this minor crop offers an easy drinking, soft, mellow tea.

Sourenee 2013 experience07

2017 Darjeeling Notes:
Due to the continuing extreme drought conditions in the Himalaya, the Darjeeling 1st Flush harvest was late again this year.  Many tea harvests are behind their normal schedule in 2017, but the 2017 harvest in the Himalaya and most of China has produced outstanding teas that are turning out to be worth the wait!

Tea Trekker sampled quite a few 2017 1st Flush Darjeeling teas this spring. In general they are high quality, although many of the early ones are the big leafy green-style plucks that are not particularly popular with our clientele. So we waited for many of the more traditional style plucks to be harvested and were then able to taste all the options that were of our quality level for the year, before we needed to decide exactly which gardens we thought had exceptional tea. We have found some real gems!

Bob in particular here at Tea Trekker is very happy with the 2nd Flush harvest, which was also extremely late this spring, it actually fell just at the end of the ‘normal’ window for 2nd Flush teas. We have received them all now and they have been quite popular, with many customers ordering small amounts to try and then re-ordering the ones that they like best for their supply for the year.

If you are looking for a clean, elegant Himalaya black tea with the body of a 2nd Flush Darjeeling tea to drink in addition to the garden-specific Darjeeling Estate teas, we would recommend our new 2017 Nepal High Himalaya Hand-Rolled Tips black tea.

lleaf2Black tea steeping instructions

lleaf2Protected Origin Status Granted to Darjeeling Tea

lleaf2New Tea, Rested Tea, and Aged Tea