- by Kadambari Ingle
- Darjeeling Tea / Tea Powder
If you are a tea lover, you are probably aware of the champagne of tea, aka Darjeeling tea, and its unmatchable taste. Tea connoisseurs from all over the world agree that Darjeeling tea is the supreme and the best tea in the world. But, have you ever wondered what is it about Darjeeling tea that makes it unique and special among every other type of tea? Read on this article as we, as leading tea manufacturers in India spill beans about the specialty of Darjeeling tea.
A Brief About Darjeeling Tea:
In a nutshell, Darjeeling tea is a Chinese tea grown in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India, with flavors of French grapes and the Himalayan mountain air. Its taste can be described as more like wine than any other tea. Even if you are not a regular tea drinker, a cup of classic Darjeeling tea is so amazing that it is really worth a try. Darjeeling tea is unique as the leaves can be processed in different ways resulting in black, green, white, or oolong tea.
The Unique Taste of Darjeeling Tea Explained By Tea Manufacturers in India:
Darjeeling is generally called the champagne of tea due to its musky-sweet tasting notes, similar to muscat wine. Additionally, it also has delicate vegetal, mossy, fruity, and citrus flavors. Although Darjeeling is an Indian-grown tea, the leaves are in fact, Chinese. In that sense, the unique flavor of Darjeeling comes from Chinese tea genetics mixed with Indian terroir, combined with the intricacies of harvesting and processing. It is altogether lighter and less astringent than most black tea but more layered and complex than most greens.
The same Darjeeling tea from the same plantation will taste different depending on when it is harvested. The periodic harvests called flushes, span the tea growing season along with the regular high mountain rains. From the first to the last harvest, the general flavor trend ranges from light and delicate to robust and full-bodied. The second flush from the more mature plants leads to the big wine-like flavors coming out, but the highly prized first flush, using the very youngest leaves, is what brings some interesting, delicate, and smooth arboreal-minty-fresh mountain air flavors.
Another primary feature that makes Darjeeling tea special from the rest is that in today’s age where mechanization has taken over almost every manufacturing and packaging process, Darjeeling tea is still processed in the traditional and orthodox manner. It means that the Darjeeling tea is 100% hand-cultivated and produced; with a great amount of care, experience, and expertise in the handling and manufacturing of the leaves by tea manufacturers of India.
Darjeeling teas are seasonally harvested and therefore are only available for a limited time. The first flush is harvested in mid-March after the spring rains. It is a black tea with significant silvery tips and a very light color, aroma, and mild astringency. The second flush includes the leaves that are plucked during the second harvest in June and produce an amber, full-bodied cup. With the intensity of the sun getting stronger during the summer, the flavor of the black tea consequently gets stronger, known to be one of the most complex black teas the world produces.
Apart from its taste, Darjeeling tea is also special due to other factors such as,
Aptly named the Champagne of Teas, Darjeeling tea was actually the first product to be given legal protection under the Geographical Indication (GI) trademark in India. For a tea to be termed Darjeeling Tea, it has to come from the Darjeeling region in India. It is similar to the illegality to call any wine Champagne if it is not from the Champagne region in France.
The Unique Flavor:
Known as one of the finest teas worldwide, Darjeeling tea is usually a black tea known for its distinct musky flavor, also known as muscatel. The flavor combined with a very mild astringent and fruity aroma brings a taste similar to that of sipping wine. The unique sensation cannot be imitated anywhere else and is, therefore, preferred by tea connoisseurs globally.
The Harvest Of The Tea:
The Darjeeling Tea is harvested three times a year, termed as the flushes. The first flush is harvested in March followed by the spring rains. The tea from these leaves is light-colored, with a mild aroma and astringency. The second flush includes the leaves plucked during the second harvest in June and produces an amber, full-bodied cup. With the intensity of the sun getting stronger during the summer, the flavor of the black tea consequently gets stronger. It is the second flush black tea that is renowned for its muscatel flavor. The third harvest known as the autumn flush has a richer color but is a little less flavored, as compared to the second flush.
The Atmosphere of Darjeeling Hills:
Camellia sinensis, a variation of tea from China found thousands of years ago, is a resilient variety that withstands high altitudes and cold temperatures. Such variety is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the Darjeeling area, which is one of the most elevated places in the world to grow tea. The high altitude coupled with different temperatures during the day and night, exposure to UV rays, and oxygen levels make for an ideal environment for the tea plant to thrive in.
The Production of Tea:
A few dozen tea estates and gardens and tea harvesting only a few times a year makes Darjeeling tea a prized possession of very high prices. But it is not only the rarity making it expensive as the whole process of care and precision from the cultivation to harvest till its manufacture adds to its exclusive status. The gardens producing the Darjeeling tea harvest it manually and organically with the help of local workers.
Darjeeling Tea from Vardhaman Group of India:
As one of the leading tea manufacturers in India, Vardhaman Group of India serves authentic and flavored tea from various tea gardens in the nation. We offer exquisite and hand-picked Darjeeling tea for our tea lovers on various online platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and Meesho.
For more details on our products, visit www.vardhaman.group