Know about Darjeeling Tea
Traditionally, Darjeeling produces black tea harvested from the small-leaved Chinese variety of Camellia sinensis var. Sinensis, rather than the large-leaved Assam plant (C. Sinensis var. Assamica). This type of tea bush features smaller leaves and has a rich aroma. The tea is distinguishable from other Indian black teas. A growing number of estates are also producing a variety of tea like Oolong teas, Green teas, and White teas as these teas are becoming more popular.
The unique flavour of Darjeeling tea is created through a process that occurs during harvest. Leafhoppers and thrips suck on the sap in the tea leaves, causing mild damage that makes the plant repel these insects by producing terpenes. The higher terpenes content is accountable for the muscatel flavours in the tea.
Darjeeling Tea Types
Black tea; Darjeeling tea is brewed mainly as black tea and typically harvested between spring and fall. These teas are the most traditional and popular. The tea leaves are hand-picked and then fermented for over 45-60 minutes after processing. These teas are more pronounced in flavour due to the fermenting process. These processed leaves lay on fermentation beds which react with the air and oxidize naturally. The liquor is pale golden with an aromatic flavour and a hint of sweetness.
Darjeeling Tea Grades
When Darjeeling teas are sold, they are graded by size and quality. The grades fall into four basic groups: whole leaf, broken leaf, fannings, and dust.
SFTGFOP: Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe indicates that it contains many tips and are long and wiry in appearance. The liquors are lighter in color.
FTGFOP: Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe.
TGFOP: Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe