What’s the deal with our new Tega Green Tea Darjeeling and the Tega Signature Breakfast tea?
Tega Organic Teas wants you to experience the “Champagne of Tea”, with flavors of French grapes and Himalayan mountain air.
Darjeeling is frequently called the “Champagne of teas,” with musky-sweet tasting notes similar to muscat wine. But it can also have delicate fruity, and citrus flavors. Darjeeling tea can taste more like wine than other tea. Even if you’re not a tea drinker, good Darjeeling is so interesting that it’s really worth a try. If your only Darjeeling experiences have been with blended teas, added flavors, or the dark bitterness of over-brewing, there’s a lot more to it that’s worth sipping.
Tega Signature Breakfast tea and Tega Green Tea Darjeeling are sourced from Fair trade tea estates in Darjeeling India, where the tea plants are of the smaller leaf Camellia Sinensis, rather than the larger leaf variety Assamica, more commonly grown throughout the rest of India.
While classified as a black tea, Tega’s Breakfast Darjeeling tea is less oxidized than a typical black tea. The unique flavor of Darjeeling comes from Chinese tea genetics mixing with Indian terroir — plus the intricacies of harvesting and processing. It’s lighter and less astringent than most black teas, but more layered and complex than most greens.
What does it taste like?
The same Darjeeling tea from the same plantation will taste different depending on when it’s harvested. These periodic harvests span the tea growing season, punctuated by the regular high mountain rains. From the first to the last harvest, the general flavor trend is light and delicate to robust and full-bodied. The second harvest from the more mature plant is where the big wine-like flavors come out, but the highly prized first harvest, which uses the very youngest leaves, is where you can find some really interesting, delicate, and smooth arboreal-minty-fresh mountain air flavors.
A first harvest Darjeeling has a satisfying balance of sweetness and astringency that’s often hard to find in good tea. The ideal Darjeeling is pleasantly astringent and optimistically bright in both taste and color; it’ll be sweet, fragrant, and astringent in equal turns, easy going so you can just drink and enjoy, but complicated enough to keep your interest piqued. Once you get a taste of the good stuff, you wont want to go back to your less interesting teas.