Darjeeling tea is a black tea harvested at the foothills of the Himalayas in the northern India region of Darjeeling. The aromas of this type of tea range from floral to fruity and chocolaty to smoky. Due to its exquisite flavor and wine-colored brewed, the United Kingdom Tea Council labeled Darjeeling Tea as the ‘Champagne of Teas’. Since it is grown in India, some have called it ‘The Champagne of India’.
History of Darjeeling Tea
In the 1800s the British were consuming a lot of tea. It was estimated that on average the annual consumption was 2 pounds per person. Instead of depending on China as the sole supplier, Britain wanted to grow their own tea. Of all the British colonies, the Darjeeling region in northern India has the most ideal land and climate for tea cultivation.
Tea plantation methods and tea processing were protected trade secrets in China. Robert Fortune, botanist, smuggled tea seeds out of China. The British hired Chinese tea farmers to extract the secrets in tea processing. In 1841 Arthur Campbell, surgeon and Superintendent of Darjeeling, directed the effort in cultivating the seeds brought by Fortune. It took only 6 years to have the first tea garden up and running in Darjeeling. This is the reason why Darjeeling tea is made of the smaller leaf Camellia Sinensis plant from China instead of the commonly grown larger leaf Assamica plant from India.
Favored by Food Experts
Epicures consider Darjeeling tea as the finest among all teas. The light flavored, soothing aromatic tea is a perfect complement to English breakfasts, poultry, fish, brunch, spicy food, and light savory meals. Moreover it is less astringent than most black tea, hence this tea does not require milk or sugar and thus preferred by dieticians and health conscious people.
Darjeeling Tea as a Healthy Drink
Made from the leaves of the tea plant Camellia Sinensis, it offers a few health benefits. The tea is rich in antioxidants and healthy natural compounds. It has antioxidants like thearubigins and theaflavins that help the body get rid of harmful free radicals.
A study published in the October 2003 issue of the Journal of Nutrition stated that drinking five servings of black tea can markedly lower blood cholesterol. This will help prevent cardiovascular disease.