One taste provides a glimpse into why Darjeeling is called the “champagne of teas.” Darjeelings range from fruity, floral notes to something akin to dry champagne - a characteristic this selection tends to exhibit. An interesting sidenote about Darjeelings is the tendency of some pluckings to show a heavy prevalence of green in the dry leaf - making one wonder if it truly is a black tea.
Probably the best-known Indian tea on the planet, the Darjeeling District is located in the northeastern part of the country, bordering the Himalayan mountain range. So popular are Darjeelings that, teas from other areas and countries are often fraudulently labeled and sold under the well-known moniker. Only 20,000,000 lbs. of Darjeeling are produced annually, but up to 3 or 4 times that amount of leaf is sold as Darjeeling. See here for more information about Darjeeling teas.
Darjeelings are often marketed by which "flush" is available. The term "flush" simply refers to when the leaves were plucked (harvested), with "first flush" being the first plucking of the season, "second flush" being the second, and "in-between" (not often used) being plucked between first and second flushes. The final plucking, "Autumnal flush," is self-explanatory.
North Indian Black Tea*.
- Scoop one heaping teaspoon of tea leaves into your infuser.
- Heat water to 200° (just before boiling).
- Pour 8 oz. of water over tea leaves.
- Steep tea for 3-4 minutes (depending on taste preference).
- Remove infuser and enjoy tea.
Simply add to your infuser one slightly heaping teaspoonful of leaf for every 8 oz. of water and place it in your pot, then add the appropriate amount of 200° water and let it steep for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the infuser, and enjoy.
Our opinion is that a cooled concentrate works best, as regular-strength brew tends to become watery as the ice melts. So, use the above leaf quantities, but half the water, allow it to cool, then pour it over ice and enjoy. The brew will dilute down to proper strength as the ice melts.