Amidst the serene ambiance that Darjeeling has to offer to an individual, there lie the lush tea estates that radiate out tranquility, lavishly.
And from the idyllic bushes, what is produced is the extra-ordinary eponymous tea, the “Darjeeling Tea”.
To be precise, the history of Darjeeling tea dates back to 150 years. The tea was a result of a mere experiment performed by Dr. Campbell (civil surgeon). It was first planted by him in his garden at Beechwood, Darjeeling. Later in 1847, an experimental nursery was set up by the government. Tukvar, Steinthal, and Aloobari tea estates were the first commercial tea gardens planted by the British. Hence, started the production of the mystical, magical, and overwhelming Darjeeling tea that very soon became the most coveted tea in the world.
In 1866, Darjeeling had about 39 gardens which produced approximately 21,000 kilograms of tea and in the next 4 years, the number increased to 56, which produced around 71,000 kilograms of tea. Today, there are about 86 gardens that produce about 10 million kgs of tea annually.
And, this is how the rejoiced tea was born in the grand estates veiled in the clouds.
Just how the iconic Champagne is autochthonic to the Champagne district of France, Darjeeling Tea is indigenous to Darjeeling, and even though the tea can be grown in other places as well the one found in Darjeeling is irreplaceable.
In the world of teas, Darjeeling produces a tea that justifies the appellation of “the champagne of teas”.
Ever wondered what this exotic and magical tea would taste like?
Darjeeling tea is so special and occupies an elite position when compared to other teas. The flavor, quality, and aroma it imbues are unmatchable. The supreme tea that we consume is the result of the hard work and love of the workers who give their best in producing the exotic tea that is cherished all over the world, the muscatel flavor that makes the tea so special and unique.
The first harvest, known as the “first flush,” is performed in the middle of March. Darjeeling tea plucked during this time often has a lighter color and aroma than that of other harvests. The second harvest, known as the “ second flush” that is performed In June is bountiful and has a deep color and a strong muscatel flavor. The “monsoon tea” is picked in the month of August. These leaves are ideal for making spiced tea blends. The final harvest, “ autumnal flush” has a deeper color and is less spicy than the other harvests
The taste of Darjeeling tea is as scrumptious and mysterious as the hills of Darjeeling. The unique flavor and aroma come from the bushes and its intricate harvesting and processing that is done with the utmost care and love. Darjeeling tea is famous for its musky flavors that are gently robust as well as numerous. The varieties include First flush, second flush, monsoon flush, and autumn flush.
Darjeeling teas are best known for their distinctive “muscatel flavor” which can be described as “a special muscat-like fruitiness in the aroma and flavor,” that develops in the second flush. The characteristics can be described as mellow, delicate, mature, sweet, lively, dry, and brisk.
The production of the Darjeeling tea is a tale of excellence, brewed cup by cup, caressed to perfection by the unchanging tradition to yield something that is cherished worldwide.
The Darjeeling tea when brewed gives a color of rich amber. The brew is said to have remarkable varying degrees of visual features like brightness, depth, and body. The flavor that emanates from the brew is a fragrance with a complex and pleasing taste.
The Darjeeling tea occupies an exalted status among other teas, also because of the innumerable health benefits that it has to offer.
The 7 health benefits of Darjeeling tea are listed below:
1. Provides Essential Antioxidants
Darjeeling tea is abundant in various antioxidants such as thearubigins and theaflavins. Together, these complex compounds combat free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals and hence are beneficial to us. They are sometimes called “free-radical scavengers”.
Drinking Darjeeling tea bridges the deficit in antioxidants in our body that detoxifies cell-damaging free radicals.
2. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Darjeeling tea contains polyphenolic compounds that are known to inhibit the growth of cancer in several ways and stop tumor development. Darjeeling tea also has anti-mutagenic properties that can reduce the frequency of cellular mutations. Overall, this study indicates that DTE has significant antimutagenic (prevents/stops mutation) and anticancer activities on bacterial and mammalian cells respectively.
3. Facilitates Weight Loss
Studies have shown that Darjeeling tea has polyphenols that can have an impact on reducing weight. Although there are many instances to show the different tea polyphenol-induced weight-loss mechanisms yet no definite conclusion has been drawn.
4. Neuroprotective effects
The ability of the tea to inactivate the neuromuscular blocking action of botulinum neurotoxin was also determined. Water extracts from the tea protected against the toxicity of botulinum neurotoxin type A in mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations. Botulinum neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum is the strongest neurotoxin that causes botulism in mammals. Thus. the health benefits of Darjeeling tea include its positive neuroprotective effects.
5. Antibacterial, antitoxin, antiviral, and antifungal activities of tea
Tea leaves produce some organic compounds that may be involved in the defense of the plants against invading pathogens like insects, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The antimicrobial effect also encompasses the synergistic, mechanistic, and bioavailability aspects. Thus, they are not only of fundamental interest, but also have practical implications for nutrition, food safety, and animal and human health.
6. It can help in improving the overall oral health and bone strength
Consuming Darjeeling tea helps in keeping the teeth strong and healthy as it can maintain the pH levels in the mouth which helps to ward off the harmful bacterias that cause cavities and gum disease. It has also been found to contain significant amounts of fluoride that can aid in reversing the tooth decay process.
7. Reduces Stress
Studies and observations indicate that Darjeeling tea can help in the regulation of the production of Cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone, thus helps in the reduction of stress levels in the body. Due to the presence of a moderate amount of caffeine in Darjeeling tea, the consumption of tea, in general, has been known to help improve mental alertness and focus and for boosting energy levels.
Other health benefits of the Darjeeling tea include reducing oxidative stress which in turn is healthy for Apart from these, Darjeeling tea benefits by supporting detoxification and benefitting the body.
Thus, a cup of Darjeeling tea helps not only our skin and hair but also helps in reducing chronic blood pressure. Hence, we can say that apart from the taste, the benefits of the Darjeeling tea are equally magical. Thus, it is quite evident that Darjeeling is home to the most exotic teas in the world.
Pure Darjeeling Tea possesses the flavor and quality, which sets it apart from other teas. As a result, it has etched out continued patronage worldwide for more than a century. Over the years it has acclaimed the title of “The Champagne of Teas”. The aroma and taste of Darjeeling Tea are unparalleled in the world and nothing is purer or more unique than the fragrance from the cup, which is enough to fill your senses and stir your soul. The tea from Darjeeling has been savored by connoisseurs all over the world. Let the irresistible charm of the Darjeeling tea overwhelm your senses.
If it’s Wine it has to be Champagne and if it’s tea it has to be the Darjeeling tea.