Darjeeling - Indian tea with Chinese roots
If a British aristocrat wants to treat you to good tea, he will choose Darjeeling. This variety is called tea champagne. It has a golden infusion, flavor with hints of spice, and hints of nutmeg in the aroma.
Darjeeling is a black tea from India. Few people know that he has Chinese roots. Other Indian and Ceylon varieties are made from raw materials from the Assamica tea bush. And only this one - from the leaves and buds of the Chinese variety (Sinensis), imported from China.
History of Darjeeling Tea
Darjeeling tea has a name after the area at the foot of the Himalayan mountains in western Bengal. This land on the border with Tibet was empty for a long time until the British who conquered it began to build sanatoriums for the military. As it turned out, the healing air and fabulous landscapes promoted recovery. Then they decided - why not grow tea here. Saplings and seeds of Camellia sinensis have been imported from China since 1834. After three years of experiments, Chinese plants acclimatized. The successful Darjeeling turned out and tea began to be regularly for sale. For its cultivation and manufacture, workers from Nepal were actively hired and inspired by the results. The tea planters began to develop the nearby lands. The territory of tea gardens grew rapidly. In 1866, there were about 40 plantations that produced 21 tons of the product. In 1870, the volume of production increased almost three times. By that time, Indian Darjeeling tea had received recognition in the best London salons. Today, only certified farms are entitled to make the famous tea. There are about 90 of them. Moreover, 70% of them produce environmentally friendly tea marked with the Organic certificate.
Raw materials are collected four times a year. Early tea (March-April) is considered the most exquisite. The second collection (May-June) turns out to be rich. Then the rainy season begins the taste of tea not smooth. Back in the 19th century, engineers worked on the technology of making tea. For the first time in India, mechanical sorting and rolling of raw materials began to be used. To provide tea factories with electricity, they built hydroelectric power plants and turbines. But the collection of tea has always remained manual. Tear off tender flushes, two leaves, and a bud. To make 250 grams of tea, you need at least 5 thousand branches. Most black teas are highly fermented. Darjeeling has used more gentle treatment. So its properties are close to oolongs. It differs in the categories of the tea leaf that can be whole-leaf, broken, seeings, and dust.
Taste and benefitsIf you're looking for an alternative to coffee, try Darjeeling, a tea with health and tonic effect.
- It also contains caffeine to help reduce sleepiness and improve brain function.
- Antioxidants help cleanse the body of toxins.
- Normalizes metabolism.
- Promoting weight loss.
- Improving bone density
- Keeps you warm on cold days.
- Regulating blood pressure
Tea has a light infusion - it should be so, do not try to insist on it for a longer time (we will correctly describe how to brew Darjeeling below). The taste is light astringency, notes of nutmeg, and subtle floral nuances. We are not recommending to drink Darjeeling on an empty stomach and before bedtime.
Storage and brewing
If you just bought a Darjeeling and you are not planning to drink the entire tea in a month, store it in an airtight container. A bag with a clip, a tin container with a tight lid will do. Or a glass jar, but only leave it in a dark place. Sealed tea has a shelf life of up to 2 years. There are aged varieties from the "Vintage" category that improve the taste over 4-5 years. Even if this is your first time trying Darjeeling, you can easily figure out how to brew it is easy to brew. Our tips:
- Use spring (bottled, filtered) water.
- Brew in a spacious teapot - the leaves will open and release the aroma.
- Do not pour with boiling water. Keep water cool for 5 minutes to 85-90˚С. For 200 ml, 5 grams of tea leaves are enough. But don't be afraid to experiment and find your ideal one.
- Drain the first spill immediately. Insist on the second infusion for 30 seconds.
- One serving is for 3-4 spills.
Do not over brew Darjeeling to avoid bitterness in the infusion. Can be drunk without additives or with honey, lemon, sugar, desserts.