Darjeeling tea is renowned for its unique fruity flavor, making it one of the most sought-after teas in the world. However, not many are aware of the varied hues of tea leaves found in Darjeeling blends. Unlike traditional green and black teas, Darjeeling tea comes in an array of colors such as dull green, dark brown, rust, and red.
But what causes this variation in color? Some believe that it’s due to the different modes of processing, while others think it’s because of the age of the tea plant or the quality of the leaves. However, the truth lies in the age of the tea plant.
The Himalayan region boasts numerous tea estates, and not all the tea plants harvested in Darjeeling gardens are of the same age. Some are century-old, while others are just a few years old, resulting in leaves that are oxidized at various rates. Oxidation rate also creates the difference in color of Darjeeling teas, as almost all variants are oxidized to some extent.
While some vendors attribute the difference in color to blending, it is undeniable that Darjeeling tea leaves, when steeped, create a fruity flavored liquor that is unmatched by any other beverage in the world. It’s no wonder that Darjeeling tea is rightfully called the “Champagne of Teas.”
To witness the diverse colors of Darjeeling leaves, a trip to the tea gardens in the Himalayan region is a must. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the hills and experience the spectacular tea gardens that produce one of the finest beverages in the world.