Next day delivery from £4.95
We also deliver internationally

Your Basket - £0.00

You have no items in your basket.

Return to Previous Page

Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling Tea | 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
  1. Darjeeling Summer Haze

    Darjeeling Summer Haze

    An exclusive batch of Pussimbing garden's finest 'muscatel' summer tea. Full of the sun, this ripe tea is luscious in the mouth with a fragrant and refreshing character. Second flush doesn't get much better or more exclusive. It is another outstanding flavored tea. Pussimbing Tea Estate is located in the Darjeeling East Valley at an altitude ranging from 1770 metres to 2560 metres. Blended to create the style of Pussimbing Muscatel teas. Learn More

    Earn 8 loyalty points.

  2. Darjeeling Naturally Decaffeinated

    Darjeeling Naturally Decaffeinated

    This naturally decaffeinated Darjeeling has a mild, flowery flavour with a light copper coloured cup. Learn More
    From £6.90

    Earn 7 loyalty points.

  3. Darjeeling Risheehat Heavenly Muscatel

    Darjeeling Risheehat Heavenly Muscatel

    Elderflower, roses, tangerine, mandarin...just a few of the flavours and fragrances picked out by our discerning customers in this tantalising tea. Naturally, it is defined by its 'Muscatel' character but I think it is one of the few teas that is intriguingly different every time that you brew it. Learn More
    From £7.00

    Earn 7 loyalty points.

  4. Darjeeling Tiger Hill

    Darjeeling Tiger Hill

    Extra tippy leaves which yield a light first flush character with a delightful flowery cup. Blended to taste like a Kalej valley type first flush. Learn More
    From £7.00

    Earn 7 loyalty points.

  5. 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
    From £7.00

    Earn 7 loyalty points.

  6. Darjeeling Puttabong Eagle's Hide Muscatel

    Darjeeling Puttabong Eagle's Hide Muscatel

    With all the complexity of the finest second flush character and an almost rose scented quality to the prominent muscat flavour, it is a tea to be relished. The leaves have a delightful appearance and show the care taken in production. These bushes grow at over 6000ft and the cold to temperate climate, shifting between fog and sunshine reduces the growing speed of the tea plants to guarantee an extremely high quality tea. Learn More
    From £7.00

    Earn 7 loyalty points.

  7. Darjeeling Tukvar Moondrops

    Darjeeling Tukvar 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 the year, of which we have both. This estate overlooks the mighty Kanchenjunga at 7000ft. Learn More

    Earn 14 loyalty points.

  8. Darjeeling Ting Ling Summer Rose

    Darjeeling Ting Ling Summer Rose

    An 'oolong' style tea, which means part oxidised, to rival some of Taiwan's famous 'Oriental Beauty' teas. It has such a complex, astounding, rich, ripe fragrance that I'm afraid I cannot describe well enough to do it justice but I have noticed nuances of honey, vanilla, peach, orange, musk rose, nectarine, quince, lichee among many others. Ting Ling is a small part of the renowned Singbulli garden and grows the rare, but best clonal tea bush variety known as AV2. This clone produces the best tasting Darjeeling but will only grow in a small number of places there. Learn More

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

  9. Darjeeling Leopard's Valley Muscatel

    Darjeeling Leopard's Valley Muscatel

    This rich liquoring infusion yields the classic 'muscatel' character with hints of almond or walnut depending on infusion time. The aroma has hints of peach and floral notes. All this and with a delightful honey finish. Blended to taste like the summer teas from Jungpana and Turzum gardens. Learn More

    Earn 10 loyalty points.

Set Descending Direction
Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2

Please wait...


{{var product.name}} was added to your cart

Continue shopping
View cart & checkout
Continue shopping
View cart & checkout