A delicate flavoury Darjeeling whole leaf tea. High grown - altitude 2,000 metres.
Best tasted on its own so you can enjoy the muscatel grape like flavour. But you are free to add a dash of milk and sugar as you desire. Some people add a drop of lemon.
Water: 95 to 100 C
Brew: 3 to 5 minutes
Dosage: 1.5 tsp / 200 ml
Further comments: produced using the Camellia Sinensis variety of tea leaf, the small China leaf jat. Darjeelings are the Champagne of teas. The better examples are exquisite with a grape like muscatel flavour. For this reason they are best drunk with no additives.
The Darjeeling tea industry has a romantic and interesting origin. Robert Fortune, a Scottish botanist, spent the late 1840's and early 1850's travelling around the eastern tea growing areas of China on a secret mission. To steal tea seeds and smuggle them out of China. He had to travel under cover, disguised as a Mandarin (a wondering government administrator in essence !) In those days foreigners were not allowed to be more than a day's journey from the main trading ports, so it was a risky mission as the tea bushes were mainly well inland.
It was a devilish and cunning project. Robert Fortune and his small team of Chinese tea workers succeeded in smuggling out thousands of seeds. And they ended up in Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayas.
The Chinese had safe guarded their tea industry for years. They had a monopoly, and wanted to keep it that way. But the British had other ideas. The seeds took root in Darjeeling. So today most of the tea in Darjeeling is still of the Chinese variety tea bush variety - Camellia Sinensis var Sinensis. These teas can be exquisite. They are less robust than the tea grown in Western India in Assam - which comes from an indigenous variety Camellia Sinensis var Assamica.