Country of Origin: India
Region: Darjeeling - Northern India
Shipping Port: Calcutta
Grade: TGFOP1 (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe One)
Altitude: 6800 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Manufacturer: Andrew Yule India Limited
Cup Characteristics: A delicate cup with the distinctive 'Muscatel' character. Almost wine-like in taste. This tea is perfect for an afternoon tea party
Infusion: Bright tending light
Mim is in the Darjeeling area of Northern India. From the town center on a clear day the peak of Mount Everest can be seen. The genus of the Darjeeling tea bush is the Chinese Jat which gives it the distinctive muscatel character. Because the tea is grown at such high altitudes and in relatively cool weather the bushes do not grow quickly, and as such the production is limited. The best time of the year for quality is during 'second-flush' (end May - end June). During this time Darjeelings are incomparable to any other tea in the world. The fragrance and taste is a complex bouquet that reaches right out of the cup. Some would describe the taste as nutty; others find it reminds them of black currants, but most often it is described as similar to the taste and fragrance of muscat grapes.
Due to the superb taste and limited production of Darjeelings, these teas are quite expensive. There are many who wish to take advantage of the high prices and as a result there are Darjeeling 'blends'. Regrettably these blends are quite often very poor facsimiles of Darjeeling and in some cases only contain 10% true Darjeeling teas; the balance made up from other production areas. A true estate Darjeeling is your guarantee of quality and genuine Darjeeling tea.
The are 3 main times of year for producing good quality Darjeelings:
1st flush - Springtime harvested teas from late Feb. to mid April. The young leaves yield a light tea with generally intense muscatel with 'point'. A gentle afternoon tea.
2nd flush - Harvested in June, these teas are more fully developed. The liquor is bright and the taste full and round excellent muscatel. An superb afternoon tea that is especially good with scones and raspberry conserve.
Autumnal - Not always available depending upon the weather, they are typified by a round taste and coppery liquor. Excellent as a breakfast tea with milk.
Hot tea brewing method: This tea is best enjoyed using 2-3 heaping teaspoons for a 6 cup teapot. Allow the tea to steep for 3-5 minutes, remove the leaves and pour. We do not recommend adding milk or sugar since this can mask some of the intrigue and subtle nuances of this vintage tea.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water].