Global Tea Regions - Darjeeling
Around the world with Tea
Darjeeling, on the southern slopes of the Himalayas in northeast India, is the tea region par excellence. The most famous of the world’s teas are cultivated in the breathtaking landscape around the small city of Darjeeling. These tea gardens command the same respect as the top vineyards of France.
Nestled high up in the Himalayas, the most aromatic and most sought-after teas are produced. in the world. Darjeeling teas are cultivated at an altitudes of 800–2000 meters. Although the region has just the right climatic conditions for cultivating fine tea bushes, much depends on how the processing is carried out.
From November until March, tea production is at a standstill. When the first shoots appear in March, harvesting begins, and the first flush is processed within 4–6 weeks. A good first flush tastes delicate, flowery-fresh, and has a fine tangy flavor. At the beginning of the season, the daily production can reach 125–150 kg of processed tea. During the course of the year the production levels increase considerably.
In early April, depending on the weather, the “in between” seasonal leaves are harvested. They integrate some of the character of the first flush while foretelling the highly aromatic, nutty, strong second flush harvested from the end of May until the end of June. The color in the cup is a yellowish russet brown. After the second flush season, the big monsoon season begins. This harvest (July–September) is productive, but not always of the best quality. In October, after the rainy season, “excellence” in tea takes precedence once more.
After the enactment of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection Act, 1999) in 2003, Darjeeling tea became the first Indian product to receive a GI tag, in 2004-05 through the Indian Patent Office.