We love the simplicity of our whole tea leaves!
Enjoying tea should be simple, and it is definitely not one size fits all. Brew and enjoy in a way that suits your taste, lifestyle, and mood. Serve classic English or Gong-Fu style. Steep for 3 minutes, or add extra tea leaves to your batch and steep for 30 seconds. Add milk, sugar, or both. Add crushed ginger root, mint or orange peels to create your own blends at home…and above all, take the time to enjoy these specially cultivated tea leaves. We encourage you to create your very own tea ritual. The journey of tea is complex, the enjoyment of tea does not have to be.
All tea is made from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. Quite like wine, tea leaf varietals have developed in different geographic locations. Varietals' unique characteristics are the result of their human influences, soil composition, and their environments.
Along with processing, oxidation plays a key role in each tea’s composition. The amount of oxidation the leaf is allowed to undergo determines what kind of tea you will get. More oxidation produces dark-colored black and pu-erh teas. Less oxygen results in white and green teas.
Before tea can be processed, it must, of course, be picked. Typically, only the bud and two small leaves are plucked from the plants to ensure the best tasting tea.
Withering is particularly important for white, oolong, black and pu-erh teas. After picking, the leaves are laid out to dry on bamboo trays or in large indoor areas where heated air is forced over them if the climate is too cool to heat the leaves naturally. This process reduces water content and makes the leaves pliable enough to be rolled. In the case of green teas, leaves are often steamed, baked, or pan-fried instead of, or immediately after, being withered briefly. Steaming, pan frying, or baking arrests oxidation of the leaves so that they remain green.
Traditionally, rolling is done by hand. This technique is used to make extremely rare high-end teas. Today, machines are often used to roll and shape the leaves. This process helps break down the leaf cell structure which releases the juices and oils from the leaves, encouraging a more uniform oxidation, and giving each tea its distinctive flavor.
Oxidation is the chemical process that can be observed by looking at a dried tea leaf’s color. The lighter or greener the leaf, the less oxidized it is. Black teas are often macerated during the oxidation process, allowing all parts of the tea leaves to be exposed to air and fully darkened.
Tea is finally dried evenly, without burning the leaves, in large ovens or drying machines to complete oxidation and finish the tea’s production.
All our Darjeelings are from one source, and made by craftsmans expanding generations, cultivated with respect and love. We are honored to be partnered with them in bringing these exceptional leaves to our community.
Darling Darjeeling is one of our five teas from India and features 2022 Autumn Flush Oolong (2023 AVAILABLE SOON)
Darjeeling Tea is grown in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. The Autumn Flush leaves are harvested during the months of October and November. Darling Darjeeling is AV2 (Ambari Vegetative), Clonal, not GMO. Clonal teas shift the focus of tea innovation right back to where it all starts: the seedlings.
The long and careful process begins when the clonal seedlings are rooted, facing the same direction in the highest elevation. Nursing their growth carefully is essential. When the bushes begin to yield crops, expert “eye judgement” is required to identify candidate individual bushes.
Darjeeling Tea is the only tea in the world to have protection under the Geographical Indication (GI) trademark. Darjeeling teas are produced at the highest elevation of any tea in the world, where the altitude creates an ideal environment for the tea plant.
The unique flavor of Darjeeling comes from Chinese tea genetics mixing with the Indian terroir, along with the intricacies of harvesting and processing. It is lighter and less astringent than most black tea, but more layered and complex than most greens.
Other Featured Darjeeling Teas:
Jasmine White Silver
Blushing Paeonia Silver
Izumi Dreams, Rohini Royal Green