Darjeeling Tea
Black tea is obtained through an oxidation process. The newly plucked leaves are laid out in rooms where the humidity is high, for fermentation to take place. The leaves are left for 3 to 5 hours, depending on the variety of tea. This allows the leaves to acquire their characteristic dark green or black colour. Black tea has a relatively stronger taste than green tea and white tea, and can be mixed with milk.

Darjeeling tea is one of the most popular varieties of black tea. It is also known as "the champagne of teas" because of its delicate and fragrant taste, it is grown on the slopes of the Indian Himalayas.

Tucked away in the foothills of the snow-covered Himalayan mountains of northeast India lies the hill resort of Darjeeling 6,000 feet above sea-level and in most spectacular setting, surrounded by over 49,421 acres of tea bushes.

The tea plantations found in this region have a history of about 125 years. Tea is grown at an elevation of between 600 and 2150 metres, on steep slopes that allow for easy draining of heavy monsoon rains. The tea leaves that grow in this region are of unsurpassable quality, with an aroma reminiscent of sweet grapes and ripe peaches.

Good Darjeelings are always referred to as "Champagne" of teas, the subtle, muscatel flavour and wonderful aroma being produced by the unique combination of cool, misty climate, elevation, rainfall, terrain, and the quality of the soil and air.

Because of the climate and high elevations, Darjeeling tea bushes do not go on growing throughout the year. The teas are picked from April to October, when the period of winter dormancy begins and growing stops. New growth begins in March after the first light showers of spring. This is the first flush. The second flush is gathered in May and June.

Please read Tea and Natural Antioxidants to learn more on the health properties of tea.


  • Lydia Gautier. Tea - Exotic Flavours & Aromas. Switzerland: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2006.
  • All About Tea. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Cuisine, 2005.
  • Jane Pettigrew. The Connoisseur's Guide to Tea - Discover the World's Most Exquisite Tea Leaves. United Kingdom: Apple Press, 2007.
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