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 its ‘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 known as the ‘Champagne of Tea’, reflecting its overall style and quality, 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 several seasonal harvests of leaf tea from the gardens in Darjeeling:

1st Flush Darjeeling (spring-plucked tea):
spicy, pleasantly astringent and can sometimes be ‘green’-ish in style (a.k.a. the European/German/Russian style) – we note this when one of our 1st Flush teas belongs to this sub-category.

2nd Flush Darjeeling (late spring/early summer-plucked tea):
smooth and rich in style with the characteristic ‘muscatel‘ [raisin-y] flavor and aroma.

Autumnal Pluck Darjeeling (early autumn-plucked tea): Plucked when cool weather returns, this minor crop offers an easy drinking, soft, mellow tea. We have one of these only occasionally, so they are worth keeping an eye out for.

Sourenee 2013 experience07

2021 Darjeeling Tea Notes:

– Aug 14, 2021 –

The current-harvest, 2021 tea season in Darjeeling was a ‘vintage’ year in terms of tea quality!

The over-arching difficulty this year (as it was in 2020) has been shipping. It has been extremely problematic shipping tea over from India to us here in the U.S. this year, so our supply was a fraction of what is is in a normal year. We ran out of 2021 harvest tea before many people were even starting to think about drinking tea for the autumn and winter seasons!

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Darjeeling 1st Flush harvest:
Our four 1st Flush selections for this season arrived, and all have sold through !

Darjeeling 2nd Flush harvest:
Our 2nd Flush tea selection was singular this season and it is now sold out.

We find it always instructive and enlightening to discover both the similarities and differences in each estate’s teas from one year to the next; and to have the opportunity to decide which to source in order to offer a diverse and yet cohesive selection of tea from each new season’s Darjeeling tea offerings. This search during our tasting and sourcing is what keeps our curiosity piqued, and our senses sharp.

Bob in particular here at Tea Trekker was very happy with the teas that he tasted and sourced from both the 2019 & 2020 tea harvests and now the 2021 harvest too. In general the teas from the Himalaya are showing a very high quality (and incredible depth of flavor) these days. Nepal, Darjeeling, and Assam are really showing some wonderful teas, and we are happily sourcing them for all the Tea Trekkers of the world!! Unfortunately the logistics of getting them to you has been challenging.

lleaf2Black tea steeping instructions

lleaf2Protected Origin Status Granted to Darjeeling Tea

lleaf2New Tea, Rested Tea, and Aged Tea