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Darjeeling tea is produced in West Bengal, and it is created by using a plant that has a height of approximately six feet and relatively small leaves. In spite of its designation as a black tea, the drink features a distinctive shade of orange. Tea from Darjeeling contains especially high levels of tannins and catechins, and it has a unique, spicy taste.
The Environment of Darjeeling
With a particularly hilly landscape, this region has an average elevation of 6,710 feet above sea level. During the summer, the area is affected by monsoons that generate approximately 100 inches of rainfall. This climate is ideal for cultivating several types of black tea, and according to some experts, the temperate weather contributes to the beverage's unique taste.
Darjeeling Tea Flavor
Darjeeling tea is moderately spicy and sweet. The local residents indicate that it has a muscatel taste, which is different than the flavors of most types of black tea. Many individuals have also compared the taste of the drink to the flavors of wine and grape juice.
The Production of Tea in Darjeeling
Unlike the crops that produce some black teas, the Darjeeling tea that we select has been grown organically. Each year, 20 million pounds of tea is produced in the region, and the area's output accounts for seven percent of the tea that is cultivated in India.
The Five Harvests
The first harvest of the plants is performed in the middle of March. Darjeeling tea that is cultivated during this part of the year generally has a lighter color and an aroma that is less strong than teas from other harvests.
The plants are also picked in May; however, a lower number of crops are gathered for this harvest. In June, many plants that produce Darjeeling tea are collected, and due to the rainy weather of the season, tea from this harvest usually has an especially deep color and a strong flavor.
During August, the tea is once again collected amidst heavy monsoons. These leaves are generally not as withered as those that were picked at other times of the year, and the price for this tea is substantially lower.
In the autumn, the final harvest is completed. According to reviews, tea from this collection has a particularly dark color and is not as spicy as other batches of Darjeeling tea.
According to numerous analyses, Darjeeling tea contains a greater concentration of polyphenols than other black teas. These natural compounds are powerful antioxidants, and several studies have shown that they can increase energy and protect the skin.
The drink also has a large amount of catechins, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Catechins may be able to lower blood pressure, improve muscular endurance, burn fat and enhance a person's mood.
A Guide to Steeping Black Tea
Enjoying Robust Flavor and Rich Aroma
The dark color and full-bodied flavor of black tea comes from the oxidation that occurs when the leaves are processed after harvesting. These robust teas are available unblended or in popular varieties such as breakfast teas, Earl Grey and Chai. Get the most out of every variety by following these simple tea steeping instructions.
Steeping Tea Forté’s signature pyramid infuser
Tea Forté’s signature pyramid infuser is pre-measured in specific amounts for convenient steeping. Before placing one in a cup for a single serving, pre-warm the tea vessel by filling it with hot tap water and then pouring the water out. This ensures an even temperature for the brewed tea.
Meanwhile, bring fresh, cold water just to a boil in a pan or tea kettle on the stove top. The optimal water temperature for black tea is somewhere between 195 and 205 degrees. Cool water won't extract the full flavor or benefits from the tea leaves. Avoid using distilled water, as this can lead to a flat-tasting steep.
Empty the water used to pre-warm the tea cup or pot and add the tea infuser. Pour the boiled water over the top and allow the tea to steep for three to five minutes. If you're planning to add milk, you may wish to warm the milk slightly at this point. Once the tea is ready, gently lift the infuser out of the water, place on a tea tray. Stir in milk or sweetener as desired.
Loose Leaf Tea Steeping
Start the steeping process for loose tea the same way as for our pyramid infusers by warming up the cup or pot and putting water on to boil. While you're waiting for the water, measure approximately one rounded teaspoon of leaves per cup of tea. Place these in an infuser or directly into the warmed pot. If using an infuser, make sure it's big enough to allow the leaves to unfurl as much as possible for maximum flavor.
When the water is ready, pour it over the leaves and allow to steep for three to five minutes. You may wish to check the taste of the tea after three minutes and keep checking at intervals until it tastes exactly the way you want. Remove the infuser or strain out the leaves before serving.
How to Enjoy Black Tea
Robust teas pair well with heavily-seasoned foods such as Italian dishes and Indian curries. Sweet black blends are perfect for drinking with thick desserts to complement the flavors and cleanse the palate.
With the variety of blends available from Tea Forté, you can try a new black flavor any time you need a change. Use these steeping and serving instructions as guidelines to discover the best combination of heat and time to make the perfect cup for your tastes. Tea steeping is a very personal art.