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Darjeeling Tea: Origin


The town of Darjeeling, famous for having the Himalayas as its backdrop also produces tea that is as delightful as its scenic beauty. Darjeeling's perfect environmental balance of cool air, rain, sun and loamy soil, make it the ideal place for tea cultivation. This is why most teas produced here are top-grade, high-quality teas. Few famous Darjeeling teas would include the Silver needle tea and the Orange Pekoe tea. Apart from this, the region is also known to produce, organic, black, white, oolong and green tea too.


Arthur Campbell introduced tea to Darjeeling in the year 1841. By the year 1847 many tea nurseries were set up following the establishment of the Famous Darjeeling Tea Company in 1856.


Most Darjeeling tea gardens are legacy gardens, meaning, they are home to tea plants that are over a 100 years old. Most of these Darjeeling tea estates are organic, in fact, Darjeeling tea was the first product from India to receive the GI tag. All these reasons have contributed to making tea the country's identity


First Flush, Second Flush, and Autumn teas


Darjeeling tea is harvested thrice a year in the three main seasons, which are spring, summer, and autumn.

Tea harvested in spring is also known as the Darjeeling first flush, and is the most sort of tea in the world of tea connoisseurs. The spring harvest season runs from mid-February to April. Tea produced in this season have a complex flavour that is floral and fruity, it is also fresh and needs minimal processing.


After the spring season comes the summer harvest which is the peak harvest season that goes all the way to Mid-June. The best Darjeeling black teas are produced in this season. It is in this seas that the speciality muscatels—loose leaf teas are produced in small volumes. Known as the champagne’ of teas, this tea type has a muscat grape flavour to it.


Autumn is the last harvest season in Darjeeling. Tea harvested in this season is more refined and has a woody flavour profile.


What to expect from a Darjeeling tea?


Although the Darjeeling black is the most famous tea, the region now has over 90 estates covering 17500 hectares of land allowing green, white, and oolong teas to be cultivated as well.

You can find both the traditional culinary plants as well as some novel clones in the Darjeeling tea estates. All Darjeeling teas are immensely fragrant, perfumy, and have an enveloping quality to them, in addition to being delicate with a sweet aroma. Whether you choose the Darjeeling loose tea leaves or the Darjeeling tea bags, you can’t go wrong because the world's best teas are from Darjeeling. Alternatively, you can also enjoy Darjeeling tea with milk.