Darjeeling tea is a renowned tea variety that hails from the hilly district of Darjeeling in West Bengal. Known for its unique taste and aroma, Darjeeling tea is protected under the Protected Geographical Indication, a recognition of its exclusivity and excellence.
Darjeeling tea is harvested in two flushes: the First Flush and the Second Flush. The First Flush, harvested in the spring, yields a tea that is pale gold in color, has a flowery aroma, and a pleasant astringency. On the other hand, the Second Flush is darker and has a more pronounced fruity note. Muscatel is the most prized flavor of the Second Flush teas, with a fuller body and a rich aroma.
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp Darjeeling First Flush
- 1 rosebud
To brew Darjeeling tea, it is important to follow the right process. For the Darjeeling Dawn recipe, for instance, you need to place the tea leaves in a white ceramic pot, heat the water, switch off the heat before it boils, and pour it into the pot from a height of at least six inches. Steep the tea for three minutes and strain it into a fine bone china cup. Garnish with a single rose bud for an ethereal touch. Milk, sugar, and honey are not recommended as they drown the subtle flavor of Darjeeling First Flush.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp Darjeeling First Flush
- 1 tsp chamomile flowers (dried)
For the Aster Darjeeling recipe, you can add chamomile flowers to the mix for a calming and sedative effect. Steep the chamomile flowers for one minute, add tea leaves, and steep for another five minutes. Strain and serve warm.
- 3/4 glass water
- 3/4 tsp Darjeeling First Flush
- 1/4 glass orange juice (at room temperature)
- 1 clove
- 1 cinnamon quill (1 cm)
- 1/2 aril of mace
- 2 lemongrass stalks
- 2 orange peel pieces (dried)
- 1 star anise for garnish
The Mulled Tea recipe is a festive tea that is perfect for chilly winter evenings. Warm water to 40°C, pour over cloves, cinnamon, mace, lemongrass, and orange peel, and steep until the brew cools to room temperature. Reheat the water without straining, add tea leaves, steep for four minutes, and strain. Add orange juice and garnish with star anise.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp Darjeeling Second Flush or Muscatel leaf or broken
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 strands of turmeric (dried) or 1 thin slice of fresh turmeric Pinch of green cardamom (powder)
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
- 4 almonds (soaked, skinned and and slivered)
Sunburst is another popular Darjeeling tea recipe that features turmeric and cardamom. Heat water, milk, and turmeric to boiling point, add tea leaves and cardamom, simmer for 30 seconds, and strain. Add honey, if desired, and garnish with slivered almonds.
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 tsp Darjeeling Second Flush
- 3 vetiver strands (tied together with a fourth strand)
Finally, the Darjeeling Dusk recipe is perfect for a warm autumn evening. Place tea leaves in a white ceramic pot, heat the water, and pour it into the pot from a height of 6 inches. Steep for four minutes, strain into a fine bone china cup, and use vetiver strands as a stirrer.
In conclusion, Darjeeling tea is a unique and exquisite tea variety that requires specific brewing methods to extract its full flavor and aroma. By following the recipes above, you can experience the taste of Darjeeling tea and indulge in its unique terroir.