Thursday, October 29, 2015

What is Darjeeling?

I was recently discussing tea with a friend. I mentioned how I really liked this first-flush darjeeling and she replied with "What is darjeeling? And what does first-flush mean?"
I realized I know many people who don't even know what darjeeling is.

"It's a Chinese tea that grows in India with flavors of French grapes and Himalayan mountain air."

Let's start with some facts

Origin: West Bengal, India 

Name: Darjeeling is named after the district in which it was first grown - the Darjeeling District 

Leaves: small-leaved Chinese variety (Camellia sinensis) 

Distinctive Features: Delicate, fruity, and muscatel 

There are 4 main kinds of Darjeeling that are referred to as flushes. Each flush is picked during a certain season or month. The earlier the Darjeeling is harvested, the lighter, more delicate the flavors. 

First Flush
-harvested Mid-March
- gentle and light

Second Flush
-harvested in June
-full-bodied and muscatel 

Monsoon Flush
-harvested during rainy season
-bold and mature

Autumnal Flush 
 -harvested in autumn
-full-bodied and spicy 

Though Darjeeling is rolled and oxidized like black tea, the oxidization process tends to be shorter. Being less oxidized than other teas, Darjeeling has some very delicate and fruity notes. Many say this fruity aroma reminds them of grapes. This distinct feature makes Darjeeling stand out as the Champagne of Teas. 

Darjeeling contains antioxidants and is said to help prevent 
-cell damage

Darjeeling is also said to promote
-heart health
-dental health
-skin health 
-bone density 

In Conclusion....

Darjeeling is a Chinese tea grown in India. Darjeeling can be light  like a green tea or more full-bodied like a black tea, depending on the season in which it is picked. Darjeeling stands out due to it's grape-like aroma and floral, muscatel flavors. It also has an impressive list of health benefits. 

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