DARJEELING BLACK TEA

Surrounded by the majesty of the Himalaya's famous mountains, where earth meets heaven, in the lush valleys at altitudes up to 2159 metres, dotted with temples where prayers are written, amidst breathtaking beauty and mystery, lies the land of Darjeeling. In the native language, this is known as the 'Land of the Thunderbolt' and the prestigious teas grown here are rightly considered among the world's best.

Darjeeling's quality teas are defined by two major picking periods, the 'First Flush' of spring and the 'Second Flush' of summer. These periods produce two very different teas.

Spring teas are barely oxidised so cannot truly be called black tea, although they share the same briskness and rich flavour. The infusion is as pale as a green tea but very different in flavour, so we cannot place them in that category either. Typically, the best qualities have a fragrant, floral character, a refreshing, complex infusion and in the dry leaf an aroma reminiscent of fresh blackcurrants on the bush.

The best summer teas are picked with the bushes in full sap during a short 3-4 week period in late June and early July. The famous 'muscatel' character is truly in evidence then. ‘Muscatel’ is variously described as reminiscent of muscatel grapes, a fragrance like a rose garden in bloom or the sweet scent of peach skin and honey.

  1. As low as £9.00
    This tea has a complex character and an almost rose scented quality to the prominent spicy flavour. It is a tea to be relished. These bushes grow at over 6000ft and the perfect climate, shifting between fog and sunshine reduces the growing speed of the tea plants to guarantee an extremely high-quality tea. The second flush term refers to teas plucked during May to June in the gardens of Darjeeling. Each 'invoice' from the 90 or so gardens is unique and amounts to approximately just 90kgs.
  2. As low as £15.00
    A delicious early second flush tea with a freshness normally found in first flush Darjeeling and a 'Muscatel' perfume and flavour. The complex flavour runs the range from honey to soft fruits to rose, camellia and green apples. It is smooth and light bodied with a pale orange infusion.
  3. As low as £22.00
    This rare, completely handmade tea has a golden-yellow infusion and is highly aromatic. It has a smooth, complex floral character with a freshly baked biscuit quality. The lively infusion sparkles and bursts with flavour in the mouth at once sweet, vanilla-like and jasmine, lavender floral. Mango, citrus, green apple and almond tones can also be picked out. All in all like a welcome burst of gentle Spring sunshine. Teesta consistently produces the highest qualities with distinctive character.
  4. As low as £13.00
    This rich liquoring infusion yields the classic 'muscatel' character with hints of almond or walnut and green apples depending on infusion time. The aroma has hints of peach and floral notes and caramelised sugar. All this and with a delightful honey finish. This blends the finest teas from Mim and Margaret's Hope gardens.
  5. As low as £9.00
    Elderflower, roses, cherry, tangerine, mandarin, tonka bean, freesia, Medjool dates...just a few of the flavours and fragrances picked out by our discerning customers in this tantalising tea. It has a sweet 'muscatel' fragrance and I think it is one of the few teas that is intriguingly different every time that you brew it. Its strength is balanced by its light, flowery taste.
  6. As low as £16.00
    The complex range of flavours are described as having nuances of sweet cantaloupe, honey, fresh grapes, lychee, spice, dark fruit, burnt caramelised sugar, dried rose, camellia, the rich, nectar-like 'Muscatel' character and toasted, buttery finish. This is from the Mim garden and is one of the top 'muscatel' teas of the year.
  7. As low as £10.00
    Decaffeinated using the safe method of CO2, which also leaves more of the flavour quality in the leaf. It is mild, with notes of flowers and honey, a copper coloured cup and pleasant fragrance.
  8. As low as £13.00
    The special thing about this tea and unusually for a First Flush is the hint of 'Muscatel' sweetness in the aftertaste. There are also notes of pomelo, apricot, green almond and orchid. This is one of the best First Flush teas of the season, particularly in the Chinese leaf category. It is a beautifully prepared leaf with lots of silvery, silky buds in the mix. The infusion is a lovely, bright yellow with a fresh aroma. Previously listed as Singbulli Silk
  9. As low as £8.00
    This tea has a mellow, smooth, sweet tasting liquor that is full in the mouth and has a strong body. It has a typical nutty character found in second flush Darjeeling with hints of papaya, amber, geranium, plum and chestnut. Singbulli is one of Darjeeling's top gardens.
  10. As low as £15.00
    This Grand Cru tea has a green-golden, shimmering infusion which is smooth, fruity with a very fine fragrance. There are notes of geranium, mango, pomegranate, lotus, cherry blossom and pistachio. This premium harvest is considered to be one of the best of the season.