Darjeeling tea is often described as the "champagne of teas." You will see that this nickname is not altogether unfitting, due to a combination of the tea's flavor, color, and reputation.
Darjeeling tea is an exciting form of tea which comes from India. It is different from most Indian teas in that it is not made from the traditional Assam plant. Most teas in India originate from this plant, and the use of Camellia sinensis for Darjeeling tea contributes significantly to its reputation as a Chinese-Indian tea hybrid. This combination creates a truly unique tea and drinking experience that is something quite special.
Darjeeling tea is only certified by the Indian government as an official Darjeeling product if it is grown within certain subdivisions in India. Counterfeit Darjeeling tea is sold very often, up to four times more than pure Darjeeling tea, so it is important always to check your box of tea and see if it contains the certification mark of the Darjeeling Tea Association, which stringently ensures the proper growing process.
This certification process is not dissimilar to how champagne is certified in Europe, as both champagne and Darjeeling tea must come from a particular area to do justice to their namesakes. You will find many fake products available in both champagne and Darjeeling tea, so you will always want to ensure that you purchase your tea from a reputable supplier who you are sure does not deal in fake tea.
There are four main grades of Darjeeling tea, all depending on the physical integrity of the sold leaves, the qualities range from the following, from best to worst: whole leaf, broken leaf, fannings, and dust. The full leaf quality rating describes teas which have only whole leaves and no shredded leaves or trimmings. The Broken leaf can consist of smaller whole leaves mixed in with fragments of larger ones.
The fannings category consists of only smaller fragments of both larger and smaller leaves, though more often than not, the fragments are too small to tell. And finally, the dust rating is reserved for the smallest of fragments and actual tea dust. The price of your tea will depend on which of these four quality categories it falls under, and your drinking and brewing experience will depend upon the quality.
There are many Darjeeling tea benefits, and you will find that health benefits are some of the most common benefits present in drinking Darjeeling tea. As with many other darker teas with a longer fermentation process, you will find that Darjeeling tea contains a great many antioxidants which work to cleanse your body of unwanted compounds known as free radicals.
Free radicals are potentially harmful substances that are formed as a byproduct of digesting mildly toxic foods and drinks, many of which are present in our day to day lives. Antioxidants are a great way to break down these compounds and give your body a much-needed rest from processing a large number of free radicals. Tea drinking has been shown as one of the best sources of antioxidants.
Darjeeling tea also features numerous cardiovascular benefits. Along with decreasing your risk of heart disease, one study demonstrated that daily consumption of Darjeeling tea resulted in a drop in cholesterol levels for the participants. While this is consistent with most other forms of dark tea, Darjeeling tea seems to have a special proponency for reducing arterial cholesterol.
These cardiovascular benefits lead to Darjeeling tea being one of the more good varieties of tea that you can drink on a daily basis. Combined with its airy and delicious flavor, these benefits make for an excellent and enjoyable combination.
One further advantage to Darjeeling tea which has been noted through lab tests and studies is the manner in which it increases bone density. If you find that you have bones which are not as dense as you would like, Darjeeling tea is an excellent way to build up bone tissue and reinforce weak bones. This is true for many forms of dark tea, along with Darjeeling, so if you are at risk for osteoporosis, you may want to drink more tea.
Darjeeling tea is not typically a tea which is prized for an extraordinarily high caffeine content. You will find that your regular cup of Darjeeling tea contains about half of the amount of caffeine you would find in your standard cup of coffee. While this may not seem very impressive, the benefits in Darjeeling tea do not lie in a high caffeine content, but in a pure flavor and numerous health benefits.
Regardless of its lower caffeine content than coffee, you will find that Darjeeling tea will still give you a nice boost regarding energy when you need it due to its marginal yet effective presence of caffeine.
Darjeeling tea is in reality quite simple to brew. It is typically brewed loose, but you can also use a capsule if you prefer to brew in that fashion. Standard tea proportions apply and a steeping time of about three to five minutes is for proper enjoyment of Darjeeling tea.
Many people wonder if you can purchase Darjeeling tea bags, and while it is possible, you must ensure that it is not a brand of counterfeit Darjeeling tea, as many forms of fake Darjeeling tend to come in tea bags.
Darjeeling tea with milk is another choice which is delicious and enjoyable, but if it is your first time trying Darjeeling, it helps to taste it alone to appreciate the full flavor first.
Darjeeling tea is an excellent and subtle tea offering originating from India. It is one of the world's premiere teas, and it would be criminal not to fully appreciate it if you are a fan of teas or otherwise.