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Tea 101 - Darjeeling Tea

  • Early colonial settlements coming up in Darjeeling. Courtesy, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Handbook
    March 17, 2015

    A man from Malta, Darjeeling Tea and Birds - Part 1

    Lured by adventure and the prospect of fortune, the Darjeeling tea industry attracted some interesting characters. One such was Louis Hildebrand Mandelli Castelnuovo. Descendant of Count Castel-Nuovo, a Maltese aristocrat, Mandelli is reputed to have fought alongside the Italian hero Garibaldi, and fled to South America before making his way up to Darjeeling.

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  • The central promenade, Chowrasta, in Darjeeling town. Circa 1880s.
    March 16, 2015

    A man from Malta, Darjeeling tea and birds - Part 2

    By 1871 Mandelli had become part-owner of a tea garden. He and WR Martin jointly bought Bycemaree, a tea garden near Siliguri in the plains. This would be part of what is now called the Terai tea growing region that borders Darjeeling tea district to its north. The expanding tea plantations were part of a tea juggernaut that the British Empire was to roll out soon through parts of India and Sri Lanka, eventually decimating the Chinese tea market for a century and more.

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  • Photo of women in a tea garden
    July 26, 2014

    Darjeeling Tea Gardens

    Photo of women in a tea garden

    The names of our Darjeeling teas actually include the tea garden from where they were grown and manufactured.  This is the historic way of identifying and authenticating these magnificent teas.  Arya, Puttabong, Phoobsering, Singbulli, Sungma, Turzum, etc, exotic and hard to pronounce tea gardens have worked diligently to build their reputations of producing some of the world's best teas.  When the garden is identified you are buying into their long standing reputation for excellence and high tea manufacturing standards.  Because it takes many years to build a good reputation, tea gardens work extremely hard to maintain the highest standards and protect their brand.

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  • Say Dar-gee-ling
    April 11, 2014

    Say Dar-gee-ling

    People sometimes have trouble pronouncing the word Darjeeling. Indeed there are a lot of teas whose names can sound a tad too exotic for its own good! We do not want you to not ask or try a tea just because you cannot say it. Because I originally come from Darjeeling, let me help you.
    (The video should also help you with my name. :)

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  • Photo of Darjeeling Tea Leaves
    April 2, 2014

    Darjeeling Tea Gong-fu Style

    Darjeeling tea has historical roots in China, being transplants of saplings that Scot botanist Robert Fortune smuggled out of forbidden kingdom in early 1850s. Even though Darjeeling has come a long way both literally and figuratively in the tea world, carving out its own hallowed niche, it is fun sometimes to marry these two tea traditions.

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  • Photo of woman picking tea leaves.
    March 9, 2014

    What is Darjeeling tea?

    We are often asked the question, what is Darjeeling tea? Is it a type of tea, or what? Being Darjeeling tea specialists we thought of putting together a small post here that answers the question. Hope it helps. 

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  • Cup of cold brew Darjeeling tea.
    May 31, 2013

    Cold Brewing Darjeeling Tea, Heaven in a Cup

    Cold brew darjeeling tea

    The tradition of cold brewing tea is old. It is believed to have originated in Japan, where people just poured cold water over tea in a pitcher that was left to sit for hours in the coolest part of the house. The resultant brew was cool, smooth, full of flavor and very little bitterness.

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  • Photo of Darjeeling, India where Darjeeling tea comes from
    May 17, 2013

    History of Darjeeling

    Darjeeling, the land from where the eponymous tea, famously described as the champagne of teas comes, is situated in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. Ranging from 100-4200 meters this mountainous region borders Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. Most of the...

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  • Photo of Darjeeling tea drying/firing process
    May 17, 2013

    Darjeeling Tea Manufacturing

    Before the tea is ready for your cup, the leaves go through the following process: plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation, drying and sorting. Plucking is done entirely by women with their hands. It is believed that women nimble and dexterous hands will...

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