Preparing the ‘champagne of tea’ is different from any other tea variety. Any type of Darjeeling teas – black, white, oolong, green – is ideally consumed without adding milk and sugar. One can add lemon but Darjeeling Tea connoisseurs do not prefer adding sugar or milk as it does not allow full appreciation of the rich and aromatic taste of Darjeeling tea. Before detailing tea brewing procedure, it is useful to know the basics that define the process.
- Water – The flavor of Darjeeling tea depends to a great extent on the type of water. It is advisable to use natural spring water or non-carbonated bottled water if tap water is hard to use. Water filter could also be used to filter the tap water.
- Steeping – The ideal way to steep Darjeeling tea is by placing the tea leaves in the tea pot. Then allow for the desired infusion and then filter with a second tea pot. It is preferable not to use the metallic-type infusion balls because the tea leaves expand and block the holes thus preventing a proper infusion.
- Time – The steeping time required for different Darjeeling Teas really varies according to the tea type, tea flush, tea quantity, and can only be perfected by trial and error till you discover your personal preference. Refer to our guidelines below for the different types of Darjeeling Teas.
- Pouring – Before pouring the steeped tea into a teapot for serving, it is advisable to heat the tea pot with boiling water to keep the tea hot for a longer period. Then after few minutes, empty the water and then filter the tea.
Brewing Green Darjeeling Tea
- Add 1tsp of tea leaves in a teapot.
- Heat the water to temperature of 65 to 80°C (150 to 175 F)
- Never pour boiled water on the leaves as its flavor and nutritional value gets spoiled.
- Use 8 to 12 ounces of water and pour into the teapot.
- Steep for 2-3 minutes and do not cover the teapot. The leaves can be used for second and third infusion.
- Strain and serve.
- Do not add milk or sugar.
Store green Darjeeling tea leaves in air tight container to preserve it flavor and aroma. Store in a cool and dry place.
Giddapahar has produced this exotic 2011 white tea at our special request – an exotic hand rolled white tea made from the AV2 buds from the higher elevated section of the plantations. A very secluded place that is far away from the busy
areas the roads; it is surrounded by the beautiful white orchids that adds to the sense of quietness and calm. It is also the perfect place to walk for a trek and see the beautiful Darjeeling tea plantations; this gives tourists that special touch of healing from nature that dispels anxiety, emotional heaviness and stress.
Giddapahar estate is a small area with mountain ranges that reach as high as 4,864 feet in height; a perfect place to grow the Darjeeling second flush teas. The coldest climate is experienced during the rainy months of July to October when temperatures reach 13°C to 29°C. Other than its picturesque views and quiet place, another facet that Kurseong is proud of is the Giddapahar estate that produces the very good and affordable Darjeeling teas.
What makes this Darjeeling white tea ‘Tranquilitea’ special, are the long and crumpled tea leaves that are of different sizes with lots of buds in them. The colors of the dry leaves are a mixture of black, green and white; it is even more made special by their scents that play around the sweet and fresh smell of the morning mist air that is so relaxing and refreshing.
As an update to the recent happenings; July 5, 2011 marked the appointment of the new Chairman of the Tea Board as elected by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. In spite of Assam’s claim, Subesh Kumar Das was selected for the post. This made the Darjeeling tea business owners very hopeful that finally, disputes will be negotiated and agreements will be signed to help the tea industry.
News report said that the name of the new appointed chief was named and shortlisted just last week in the office of the Prime Minister. Kumar Das’ name was chosen among two other candidates for the post. After receiving the documents, he Cabinet committee will now have the final clearance. There is also hearsay among locals that Das’ papers were shunted, since West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee took office. And although there are several speculations to Das being chosen, hopefully this will be accepted as a positive move for the Darjeeling tea Estates.
There were also earlier reports that in spite of failed attempts to get Das out of the assembly polls, it was just later ignored by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). In fact, the PMO office created a special panel while Minister for DoNER, Bijoy Krishna Handique hand in a letter insisting on an Assam cadre officer to be named.
This move was in support of an earlier agreement made that the Chairman of Tea Board will either come from Assam-Meghalaya cadre or West Bengal cadre. This is because these two estates are one of the biggest producers of Darjeeling teas in the area, accounting to about 50% of the total tea produced in the area. Darjeeling tea stakeholders were all in support of this move since it has significantly increased production and helped boost the overall Darjeeling teas industry business.
Teas are cultivated and grown in different parts of the world from the same Camellia Sinensis plant. But, what make each Darjeeling tea distinct in its taste are the various climate conditions where they are constantly grown. So the challenge for tea producers is to grow the same type of tea each year. In Thurbo Darjeeling this is not so much of a problem because the cold weather conditions and the organic environment remain constant throughout the year.
Darjeeling Thurbo white tea
Thurbo First Flush Darjeeling is a small estate located in the Mirik valley, with mountain ranges that reach high as 980 to 2440 mts. With these high slopes the Thurbo white tea they produce are exactly the same quality every year. The name Thurbo also has its legends attached to it that is part of Nepal’s history. It came from the British soldiers who used to camp at this garden during the time of British invasion to Nepal. They call their camps “Tombu” which means tent. The locals of Nepal called the place Thurbo in later years.
It is said that Thurbo tea’s special taste comes also from the exotic gardens that is blessed by nature itself. Coupled by the natural conditions of the garden are the little insects that bit the leaves and cause the distinct plant enzymes to be released so it can repair itself. This is what imparts the unique taste of 2011 Darjeeling Thurbo white tea. A Thurbo Darjeeling tea is famous for its distinct muscatel taste and honey fragrance. With a twist of sweet white flower, these Thurbo white tea also has butter and vanilla notes that blend well with the hint of spicy and fruity flavors; a mixture of tastes that tea connoisseurs enjoy and love. The Darjeeling teas leaves are unlike other tea leaves.
All Indian tea producers including Darjeeling tea estates are expecting a production deficit by as much as 100 million kg this year. This is despite the fact that the climate condition and weather is generally good this year. This fashion is expected to increase the cost of Darjeeling teas produced all over the tea garden estates in India.
Darjeeling Tea Plucker
Last year’s production of 966 million kg is expected to yield at least 990 million kg this year to accommodate the consumption increase of about 30 million kg each year. However, the Tea Board is not so promising that this target can be reached this year.
The world’s largest tea producer in India, McLeod Russel, through its managing director, Aditya Khaitan said in an official statement, “The year started with a shortfall of 100 million kg. I don’t think the production increase will mitigate the deficit. It will be enough to absorb the consumption increase. But this year looks much stronger than the previous year when we lost crop during the quality period.”
The Darjeeling tea estates in India are also suffering from massive losses, not only because of the production issues, but more so because of the government disputes with some groups. This has been raising concerns from the Darjeeling teas owners and they are hoping it will be resolved very soon…
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The harsh region going to Jungpana makes the experience that of mixed emotions. But, as the view of the attractive Darjeeling tea estate comes to full display it becomes out of this world. The view of the magnificent slopes of the Himalayas with the blossoming green tea plants, plus the workers with their chest laden full of the freshest Darjeeling teas, makes the experience so different and so supernatural.
Jungpana Darjeeling Tea
The only path available to make the mountainous estate is by feet through a wooden bridge and a perched concrete made of 380 winding steps that are on the average at 65-degree angle. This tiny estate used to be owned by the Scotland, Duncan brothers and later by the Nepalese, Ranas. Today, and for the past five decades, the Kejriwal family owns and manages the Darjeeling tea estate.
The mystical hills reach as high as 3000 to 4500 feet and to reach the Darjeeling tea gardens(http://www.darjeelingteaxpress.com) one has to tramp for at least 30 minutes. The complicated terrain, the winding steps, the cool weather and the rich soil and environment of Jungpana all contribute to the distinct taste of the Darjeeling second flush black tea.
The dry Darjeeling black tea leaves are from a mixture of black, brown and a few green colors that are long rolled leaves with a few buds on it. The leaves bring out special scents from a rich buttery, toasted and slight vanilla flavor. Once they are brewed, the leaves become mainly brown with some touches of green. Infusion usually takes about 3 minutes and 30 seconds to come up with the perfect gleaming clear orange liquor that smells of intense herb freshness and a hint of almond, butter and vanilla.
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