Jamai Sasthi

Darjeeling Tea

Kolkata has traditionally been a tea drinking city and bengalis prefer the leaf tea. Over here, the day begin with a cup of tea and thereafter people leave from their houses to enjoy the morning breeze. You need walk no more than a block in any direction to get your local tea-shop.  You'll be among a crowd of men, waiting for the next batch to be ready.

Over a wood flame, a pot of milk will be heated.  Just as it's about to boil over, it'll be stirred down and replaced on the flame.  After it's boiled up a few times, the milk will be poured into a large tin kettle fitted with a tea strainer, and let it steep for a few minutes before serving.  Your tea will come in disposable cups, made not of paper or plastic, but bickered clay or glasses.

With fingertips people stand and drink their tea quickly, as would their morning espresso.  The tea is sweet and thick.  No water here, just milk, sugar, and tea leaves.

The Darjeeling tea from the region of Darjeeling in West Bengal, is traditionally considered the most valuable of teas, particularly in Britain and in countries belonging to the former British Empire. It is nicknamed the champagne of teas. The best tea infusions give a light, clear, with a floral aroma. The taste is slightly astringent tannins, with a hint of musk, which connoisseurs compare grape muscat . There is also a mild aftertaste.

Most of the Darjeeling tea leaves become black tea however, are also produced oolong tea and green, lately in greater proportion. The leaves of the tea Darjeeling blacks are not oxidized at 100%, making it technically oolong. Many Darjeeling tea then appear as mix of leaves treated at different oxidation levels green, oolong, black.

The cultivation of tea in the Darjeeling region of India started in 1841 by Dr. Campbell, a surgeon of the Indian Medical Service who had been transferred there in 1839 with the role of overseeing the vast territory. The seeds came from China, sent by the British botanist Robert Fortune . 
The first crops were born in the forties and since 1847 the government created the first nurseries. For commercial exploitation will have to wait a decade.

Darjeeling tea is sold annually to 40,000 tons when production is 4 times lower. The logo and the process of designation of origin are handled by the Tea Board of India. The most popular gardens are Arya, Chamong, Lingia, Castleton, Jungpana, Makaibari, Margaret's Hope, and Risheehat.