Darjeeling Tea is processed from Camellia sinensis var. Sinensis, the China variety of tea plant that was brought exclusively from China by British tea planters. The special fragrance and flavours that every Darjeeling tea steeps have propelled it to be one of the most sought-after teas in the world. Tea connoisseurs from across the globe appreciate and adore the teas nurtured and processed in the Himalayan foothills of Darjeeling.
The unmatched flavours and aroma found in the tea produced in the hilly terrain of Darjeeling are due to the distinct agro-climatic conditions of Darjeeling. Heaven for producing teas that are enticing, sumptuous, and flavoursome, Darjeeling is certainly known to offer the world the best of teas.
We talked in-depth with the manager, tea taster, and consultants to understand why we consider Darjeeling tea special. Here are 7 reasons that we found.
1. Muscatel Note
The Second Flush teas of Darjeeling are famous for the tinge of fruity muscat grapes often also called the 'muscatel note' in the tea lingo. Mostly grown in Spain, the muscat family of grapes includes over 200 varieties belonging to the Vitis vinifera. They taste like no other grapes with bright sweetness and a tint of citrus and peach. You can find the nuanced muscatel notes only in the second flush teas of Darjeeling. Mild fruity sweetness is entwined in the phenomenal muscatel texture. Moreover, every cup of Darjeeling Second Flush renders a magically soothing and delectable experience that no other tea is capable of.
2. Floral First Flush
First Flush teas of Darjeeling might not be a cup for everyone, but it sure is something that everyone should sip once in a while. The light and bright floral first flush teas are the most delicate of teas with a marvellous and enticing floral touch to them. Likewise, the mild astringency holds the cup together with an immaculate finish.
3. Orthodox Method
The orthodox method of processing Darjeeling teas is more than a century old. In the year 1848, Robert Fortune, a Scottish Horticulturist set on a great espionage mission supported by the Royal Horticultural Society. He shaved his head and don the disguise of a mandarin. He had already travelled extensively in China and was fluent in the local language. Along with a servant he toured the entire tea-producing region of China inspecting 2000 years old tea manufacturing process in the highlands. He returned with some 13,000 plant samples and 10,000 seeds. His report consisted of every detail of the centuries-old process of making tea. The British applied the newly discovered knowledge about growing and processing tea in the new plantations of Darjeeling. Teas plantations in Darjeeling still follow the same century-old process. And we often refer to the teas produced through this process as orthodox Darjeeling teas.
4. Supreme Quality
Everything said, Darjeeling teas are of course special for their quality that is unparalleled. Orthodox Darjeeling teas only contribute to 0.1% of the total worlds tea production. Nonetheless, the unique flavour and aroma true only to the teas harvested and processed in the region makes them stand out. In short when it comes to Darjeeling tea, only quality matters, there are no exceptions.
5. Geographic Indication Tag
For the quintessential characteristics of Darjeeling tea, it has been conferred the Geographic Indication tag! Consequently the teas that Darjeeling produces are protected under the Geographic Indication trademark, which means that Darjeeling Teas are special and are only grown in Darjeeling and nowhere else. Moreover, the specific agro-climatic conditions of Darjeeling nurture tea that are singular in all aspects, tea that we most affectionately call the Champagne of Teas
6. Appreciation from the Luminaries
Darjeeling teas have received kind words of appreciation from the likes of the Queen of England. Yes, you heard us right! Among the patrons of Darjeeling teas, there are celebrities and heads of state who have elaborately appreciated the finesse of a Darjeeling cup. Once Mark Twain visited Darjeeling, and he was in awe of the distinct teas that he tasted. He has chronicled affectionately about Darjeeling teas. For instance, Okayti was a name given by the tea auctioneers in London to the erstwhile Rangdoo Tea Estate for producing the only okay tea fitted to be served at the royal tea rooms of London. But the teas from Okayti are way more than just okay!
7. Magnificent Experience
For the wholesome experience that Darjeeling teas render. In the Indian subcontinent, chai, a concoction of CTC tea with herbs and spices with added sweetener and milk is more preferred than tea. Meanwhile, Darjeeling tea is a wholesome tea that should be served on its own. We recommend no sweetener or milk as it would meddle with the refined and delicate characteristics of the tea. One might have to witness some shades if they add condiments to a Darjeeling cup that is way better on its own.
Our palate is a marvellous device nature has ever created. It remembers every nuance with the capacity of taking us back and forth in time. More than anything else, what makes a Darjeeling cup special is its timelessness, its sheer elegance, and its nuanced refinements.
Enough said, now its time to delve into the most opulent Darjeeling teas grown amidst the mountains of Okayti. Find our teas here.