India has three primary tea growing regions: Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri. While Darjeeling and Assam get their due share, Nilgiri blue mountain tea is quite underrated.
The Perfect Cup of Tea
When it is brewed just right, the perfect cup of Darjeeling tea has the power to improve your day with its unparalleled authenticity and flavor. Did you know that beautiful amber glow seen in Darjeeling first flush is a sweet mimicry of the warmth of the rising sun? The flavor and quality of each flush set itself apart from other varieties.
Let the teacup cradle in your hands as while gently swirling it around like wine in a glass. The aroma gradually fills up in the air, fuelling up your senses and giving them a detour of the glorious, mysterious tropical place where the tea is sourced from. Perhaps more important is the sweet soothing aftertaste after each gradual sip, refreshing and opening up your mind to new possibilities. It is the elixir of life that can help you sustain through difficult times.
What Makes Darjeeling Tea Unique?
There is little doubt that Darjeeling tea is among the most unique types of tea out there. It is highly sought after by tea connoisseurs around the world. However, is the Darjeeling brand just marketing gimmick or is there something truly special about its taste?
Darjeeling tea owes its unique flavor to the high altitude conditions its plant is grown in, exposing it to some intense UV light. Here’s a general rule of thumb: the higher the plant, the more it is exposed to UV light, which results in oxidative stress. These plants have developed certain antioxidants known as flavonoids.
The Darjeeling brand should not be compared to black tea by any means. The orientation of leaves plays a crucial role in the extent of oxidization. This breaks up the cells and allows them to react with oxygen. Green teas stop oxidation at a very early stage, which restricts most of the leaf’s compounds. Darjeeling tea has partially oxidized oolongs, much like green tea.
After harvesting and processing, the Darjeeling tea shows high amounts of both Catechins in green tea and Theobromine in black tea. The more antioxidants you consume, the more aroma precursors you will have. When you combine other environmental aspects of the harvest, the result is a unique cup of Darjeeling tea.
Characteristics of Darjeeling
It would be unfair to compare Darjeeling tea to other black teas for reference. Many tea connoisseurs compare the Darjeeling tea with Assam, Keemun, Ceylon, and the English Breakfast blend. The main characteristics of Darjeeling tea are the rich nutrients that add a sweet, floral, and fruity nuance to it.
Different Flavors of Darjeeling
Darjeeling is not a single tea. Flushes are the most popular blends of Darjeeling tea, including the first, second, and third flush. Every year’s harvest will yield plants that are different in characteristics and quality. In order to retain the freshness of the tea itself, most vendors store and preserve the tea well, otherwise, the tea tends to quickly lose its freshness.
The most popular flavors in Darjeeling are the first flush in spring and the second flush in the summer. The first flush tends to have light liquor, mild flavor with scented floral aromas. The second flush has bright liquor and complex flavors more pronounced.
How to Check the Quality of Darjeeling
Study the label to find out the date of manufacture. Look into the fine details for more information. There is a high chance that the vendor is giving you a mix of blend and harvest if they fail to mention the date of manufacture.
Make it a habit to buy Darjeeling tea from reputed dealers such as Golden Tips Tea. We collaborate with high-quality tea estates to bring you the finest Darjeeling varieties. Our experience and expertise in tasting and selecting the finest teas at the appropriate rates, make Golden Tips stand out. Darjeeling tea is in our hearts and we take pride in offering authentic, pure and delicious Darjeeling teas to you.