Search Site
Your Basket - £0.00

You have no items in your basket.

Return to Previous Page

Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea, high quality tea, buy tea online | Imperial Teas

Surrounded by the majesty of the Himalaya's famous mountains, where earth meets heaven, in the lush valleys at altitudes up to 2159 metres, dotted with temples where prayers are written, amidst breathtaking beauty and mystery, lies the land of Darjeeling. In the native language of Lepcha this is known as the 'Land of the Thunderbolt' and the prestigious teas grown here are rightly considered among the world's best.

Some would say they are a tea without equal. At their best it would be hard to disagree. They are grown in a small area made up of eighty gardens in the foothills of the Himalayas. There are seven valleys where tea is grown, named East Darjeeling or Golden Valley, West Darjeeling, Mirik, Teesta, Rungbong and North and South Kurseong which means Land of White Orchids. Often referred to as the 'Champagne of Tea', there are a number of factors contributing to its quality. The altitude of up to 8000ft, the perfect balance of sun and rain, rich, well drained soil, fragrant air and in the best types the use of the original slow growing chinese tea bushes.

This hardy, evergreen shrub takes four to six years to mature and will yield fine, flavoursome tea for well over 100 years with good care. This is natures contribution, unique to Darjeeling's Seven Valleys but without the considerable nurture and manufacturing skills used at the best plantations the tea would not become complete. Plucking begins in March and closes by late November. Each tea bush in the estate is plucked every 4 to 7 days depending on the season. A hectare of garden yields around 500kgs of dry tea with each bush yielding only 100 grams of made tea in a year. It takes over 20,000 individually hand picked shoots to make a kilogram of tea. It is little wonder that Darjeeling is held in such high esteem, having gifted the world with the finest teas, flavoured by nature and for over 100 years nurtured with uncommon skill and excellence.

The three most important crops of Darjeeling are known as First Flush or 'Spring' teas, picked in March and April, Second Flush or 'Summer' teas, picked mid June to mid July and Autumnal, picked in November. The period between these peak times are considered main crop but of little interest in terms of quality. Darjeeling tea leaves are processed in the traditional "Orthodox" way. The inherent sensitive nature of the finely plucked, green leaf responds best to gentle treatment. Although differing leaf varieties require intricate variations in processing, the stages undergone are uniform. Once the leaf reaches the factory, it is withered. The object is to evaporate moisture from the leaf slowly over a period of 14 to 16 hours. The leaf becomes limp so as to withstand twisting and rolling under pressure without crumbling. Liquor characteristics also begin to develop following physical and chemical changes within the leaf structure.

The green leaves are segregated according to type and spread evenly on wire mesh screens fitted over specially designed troughs which resemble very long wooden boxes. Each trough is an air chamber which enables fresh dry air to be passed in a regulated manner through the green leaves till the desired "wither" is achieved. 65% of the water content is removed from the leaf at this stage. The withered leaf is then removed from the trough and rolled under pressure, resulting in release of natural juices that promote oxidation and pigmentation.The leaf is thinly spread in a cool, well ventilated room to slowly ferment. This is the stage in which the unique flavour of Darjeeling Tea develops over two to four hours. The experienced tea maker judges the extent of quality development from the fragrance progressively expressed by the leaf at regular intervals. Once the fermentation is done, the rolled leaf is taken for drying (firing) to arrest further fermentation and to remove almost all the remaining water content from the leaf. The dried tea is crisp and finally graded and packed according to size and quality. For further information see the next categories for each of these types.

Set Descending Direction
Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  1. Darjeeling Puttabong Moondrops

    Darjeeling Puttabong Moondrops

    This small lot of 16kgs was made for us using bushes grown from a special clone in a tiny portion of this distinguished garden. Its exceptionally complex flavour reminding me of blackcurrant bushes, mango, stewed apricot and muscatel wine, with a mild almond, cashew like fragrance. It is complemented by the beautiful hand twisted leaf. The second of just the two completely handmade teas of 2014, of which we have both. This estate overlooks the mighty Kanchenjunga at 7000ft. Learn More
    £29.00 per 100g

    Earn 29 loyalty points.

  2. Darjeeling Tumsong Supreme

    Darjeeling Tumsong Supreme

    A garden situated in the Golden Top Valley producing excellent teas. Exceptionally complex flavour reminding one of blackcurrant bushes and muscatel wine, complemented by the beautiful hand twisted leaf. This estate overlooks the mighty Kanchenjunga. Learn More
    £15.00 per 100g As low as: £8.25

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

  3. Darjeeling Singbulli Red Diamond

    Darjeeling Singbulli Red Diamond

    This unusual tea, which looks like a Second Flush (Summer) Darjeeling was actually picked privately for us during the first few days of the First Flush (Spring) season. I have been longing for a more oxidised First Flush tea, with current manufacture favouring the lighter, almost green character. With most high quality Darjeeling heading for Japan it is perhaps no surprise. The darker oxidation does something very different to the flavour, as can be compared with our Singbulli 'Silk' tea. The many toned brown leaves with silvery tips create a bright coppery infusion with a distinctive aroma of meadow flowers. Its taste is dominated by juicy white grape with a honey sweet finish. Learn More
    £25.00 per 100g

    Earn 25 loyalty points.

  4. Darjeeling Liza Hill Silver Blossom

    Darjeeling Liza Hill Silver Blossom

    Silver Blossom is a speciality of the Liza Hill division of the Risheehat garden. It is a smooth, silky tea with great green spring freshness. It is light in colour but offers up a flavoursome, delicate flowery tea in both taste and aroma. Learn More
    £7.00 per 100g

    Earn 7 loyalty points.

  5. Darjeeling Puttabong Fully Handmade Tea DJ3

    Darjeeling Puttabong Fully Handmade Tea DJ3

    This tea has a golden-yellow infusion and is highly aromatic, even in the dry leaf state. It has a smooth, complex floral character with a fresh baked biscuit quality. The lively infusion sparkles and bursts with flavour in the mouth at once sweet, vanilla like and floral. Both fruit, particularly apple, and almond can be picked out. It has a mild astringency that leaves the tongue with a sweet aftertaste. All in all like a welcome burst of gentle Spring sunshine. Puttabong consistently produces the highest qualities with distinctive character. Learn More
    £29.00 per 100g As low as: £8.50

    Earn 29 loyalty points.

  6. Darjeeling Turzum Mountain Mystic DJ3

    Darjeeling Turzum Mountain Mystic DJ3

    In my opinion the best garden in Darjeeling, with their second flush 'Muscatel Dream' among the best teas in the world. The fresh, grapefruit like zesty aroma is balanced with muscatel grape and hint of something almost cinnamon like. The pale yellow yet rich liquor sits like a satisfying white wine on the tongue, with a layered palette of exotic fruit flavours, such as guava and nectarine and with the characteristic First Flush oil of wintergreen freshness. Learn More
    £28.00 per 100g As low as: £8.00

    Earn 28 loyalty points.

  7. Darjeeling Glenburn Supreme DJ3

    Darjeeling Glenburn Supreme DJ3

    he liquor is light and clear, fresh green on the palate with notes of citrus and peach. Glenburn was started by a Scottish tea company in 1860, and has now passed into the hands of one of India’s pioneering tea planting families – The Prakashes, who have over the years come to be known as the “Chaiwala family” – which literally means “tea planters”. The story of the Chaiwala family began over 100 years ago, and is closely entwined with that of tea plantations in India. Now, the third & fourth generation Prakash family, carry almost a century of tea knowledge in their inheritance. Glenburn is a part of the Ethical Tea Partnership. Learn More
    £18.00 per 100g As low as: £8.25

    Earn 18 loyalty points.

  8. Darjeeling Thurbo Supreme DJ2

    Darjeeling Thurbo Supreme DJ2

    This superb First Flush was made exclusively from the garden's 'Clonal' bushes for this private reserve. This is in contrast with the other three top Darjeeling teas, Castleton, Phuguri and Jungpana, which are made from 'China' type bushes. Clonal teas have a very distinctive fragrance which mingles floral notes with the fruity ones. Hints of linalool type plants, laurel, mints, rosewood, basil, lavender create a spicy effect when merging with the note of geranium. The infusion is rich for a First Flush tea with cooked fruit, apple and spice most noticeable. These hints are more pronounced when sugar is added, the way Darjeeling is drunk at source. Learn More
    £27.00 per 100g As low as: £8.25

    Earn 27 loyalty points.

  9. Darjeeling Singbulli 'Silk' DJ1

    Darjeeling Singbulli 'Silk' DJ1

    This is the one of the best First Flush teas of the season, particularly in the Chinese leaf category. It was from an early invoice of the year and not even knowing what may have come later in the season, I knew I was unlikely to taste anything better. As good, perhaps, but not better. As things turned out I was right, so I am glad I made the early commitment to buy it! It is a beautifully prepared leaf with lots of silvery, silky buds in the mix. The infusion is a lovely, bright yellow with a fresh aroma. The flavour and aroma is a complex one that carries hints of herbal and flowery characteristics. Learn More
    £15.00 per 100g As low as: £8.25

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

Set Descending Direction
Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4