Many Darjeeling teas also appear to be a blend of teas oxidized to levels of green, oolong, and black. To combat this situation, the Tea Board of India administers the Darjeeling certification mark and logo . Protection of this tea designation is similar in scope to the protected designation of origin used by the EU for many European cheeses. This association was formed in 1892 under the chairmanship of Mr. S.K. Bhasin, dissolving D.B.I.T.A. , though the first annual general meeting of the Darjeeling Planters was held in 1873 to consult about problems of the Darjeeling tea estates. Puerh teas are made from a large-leaf variety of tea tree that grows in the tropical mountain area of Yunnan.

The plant rapidly grows during the monsoon flush from July to September with larger and less flavourful leaves. The persistent rain also results in less complete withering and oxidization during the processing stage. Some estates create green or white teas from these as they demand less withering and no oxidation, however, when completed as black tea this flush is often sold below the cost of production for use in blending and domestic consumption.

Sinensis, rather than the large-leaved Assam plant (C. sinensis var. assamica). Traditionally, Darjeeling tea is made as black tea; however, Darjeeling oolong and green teas are becoming more commonly produced and easier to find, and a growing number of estates are also producing white teas. Chinaries have a reputation for harboring a multitude of flavours and are immensely popular with first flush admirers. This blend of the best spring chinaries of Darjeeling makes for an exquisite cup that has a sweet vegetal feel to it.

The tea leaves are harvested by plucking the plant’s top two leaves and the bud, from March to November, a time span that is divided into four flushes. The first flush consists of the first few leaves grown after the plant’s winter dormancy and produce a light floral tea with a slight astringency; this flush is also suitable for producing a white tea. Second flush leaves are harvested after the plant has been attacked by a leafhopper and the camellia tortrix so that the leaves create a tea with a distinctive muscatel aroma.

Devotion to this high quality profile is seen in all the tea plantations. The Darjeeling Planters has never succumbed to the temptation of increasing yields at the expense of quality and makes every possible effort to ensure the highest quality standards. According to records, the first commercial tea gardens in the region were planted by the British tea interests in 1852. By 1866, Darjeeling had 39 gardens producing a total of 21,000 kilograms of tea per year. Tea cultivation in Darjeeling has continued to prove to be a profitable venture, and today, nearly 17,400 hectares in 87 tea gardens produce over 10 million kilograms of tea every year. The tea industry in India in general and in Darjeeling in particular, is operated by the private sector.

Nowadays, very popular teas are characterized by elegant unobtrusive lightness and the original appearance of leaves full of silver hairy tips. While the planters in Darjeeling have been producing high quality tea for over 150 years now, it is the Tea Board that has sole control over the growing, quality control and exporting of Darjeeling tea. Both the Tea Board and the Darjeeling Planters Association have been involved at various levels in protecting and defending the “Darjeeling” name and logo. It is this collaboration between the Board and the Association that has made the reputation that Darjeeling tea enjoys worldwide. The objective is to ensure that there is no misrepresentation amounting to passing off as to content and origin of the mixture and thus protect the intrinsic value and integrity of Darjeeling as a geographical indication.

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Further, the consumer must know what he/she is buying and how much Darjeeling tea is contained in the mixture. Another specific feature of Darjeeling tea is that the bushes that grow in the region belong to a Chinese hybrid, camellia sinensis, which is found almost nowhere in the world outside China and Japan. It is a small-leaved tea bush and its roots grow more than one meter long, which helps for soil conservation and allows the bush to withstand a cold climate. This bush is a perfect match for the soil and climate of the Darjeeling region. Tea cultivated from it in Darjeeling therefore enjoys many unique properties that tea cultivated from the same bush in other regions does not.

All the Darjeeling tea estates producing packets have a Darjeeling Tea Logo “Darjeeling” or “Pure Darjeeling” or “100% Darjeeling”- must be mentioned. It is a black tea with a lot of silvery tips and a very light colour, aroma, and mild astringency. Leaves that are plucked during the second harvest in June, comprise the second flush and produce an amber, full-bodied cup. Green tea contains less caffeine than green tea, so it may be a better choice if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Learn how to make easy tea recipes at home including tea lattes, iced teas, tea cocktails, mocktails, cakes and bakes. I also share my favourite DIY skincare recipes made with tea and matcha green tea too.

Broken Leaf FTGBOP has somewhat broken leaves but is still termed as high quality. Tea Type Fannings GFOF/ are inferior quality teas that are cheaper in price and yield darker liquor. Tea Type Dust are lowest in price and yield the most inferior quality tea. Rare Tea Republic has an interesting selection of Darjeelings and Darjeeling-like teas. Their Phoobsering Black Darjeeling ($3.50 for a 6 gram sample, nespresso tea vertuo $19 for 50 grams) is full of delicate lemon oil and sweet spring vegetable flavor, as well as a very mild, controlled astringency for a black tea. Darjeeling teas are best known for the muscatel flavour, described as a “musky spiciness”, “a unique muscat-like fruitiness in aroma and flavour”, that develops in the second flush and is present to a lesser degree in the subsequent autumnal flush.