Principles of Proper Tea Preparation

Whether First Flush, Second Flush or Green – the Darjeeling we offer is a top-quality tea. In the distinctive silver package with the dark green label, you will find a product that has gone through the most careful selection and the most stringent quality inspections. Now it is up to you to allow the "champagne among teas" to achieve its peak flavor.

Not all teas are the same. Green tea and black tea require a different preparation, and it is essential to know the right method for each type of tea. A few basics of tea preparation apply, no matter which kind of tea you are brewing.

Basics of Tea Preparation

Always keep tea in a well-sealed container. If you store it in our silver bag, an odor-free closet shelf will do.

The water used in the infusion is very important. Use fresh tap water. Water quality varies by region. If necessary, use a water filter or buy non-carbonated mineral water. Do not use water that has been standing in a container for a long time or water that has boiled for a long time.

For best results, brew tea in a container without net. Tea nets and especially tea infusers compress the leaves too much.

teacupMeasuring and Time
The tea's stimulating caffeine develops its full energy within two minutes. Longer infusion adds tannin, which has a calming effect on the gastro-intestinal tract. If the leaves are steeped for too long, the tea's taste might become too strong. To figure out the right balance of steeping time and amount of tea leaves, you should experiment until you have discovered your personal preference.

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Before pouring the steeped tea into a teapot for serving, pre-heat the teapot with hot water. Warm water is not sufficient. Pour through a tea strainer into the pot.

Darjeeling, especially the Second Flush, may be enjoyed with a drop of milk. Do not sweeten tea too much; just balance the natural bitterness. Because of its delicate character, we recommend white candied sugar. The best way to keep the tea hot is to use a tea cozy; heat under the pot spoils the tea.

Black Tea

For black tea, always boil the water, and let it boil for about 1 minute.
Rinse the cup or pot with hot water.
Measure your tea, use approximately 1 teaspoon (about 2 grams) per cup (6-8 ounces).
Pour the boiling water over the tea leaves and steep for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the taste you desire.
Remove the tea leaves or pour off the tea.

Green Tea

For green tea, a temperature of 65 to 80°C (150 to 175 F) is best, because it preserves the color, the flavor, and the nutritional value of the tea. Never use boiling water. “Cooking” the leaves will spoil the tea and its flavor.
Use 1 teaspoon (about 2 grams) for 8 to 12 ounces of water.
Put the tea leaves into the teapot; pour in the water. Steep for 2 to 3 minutes only.
While steeping, do not cover the pot, so as not to scald the leaves.
Green tea leaves may be used for a second or third infusion.

Iced Tea

Iced tea, especially green iced tea, is a delicious and invigorating drink for hot summer days, and a healthy thirst quencher after any form of exercise.
For iced tea, you should use the double amount of tea that you would use for hot tea.
Pour hot water over the tea. Fill the pot until it is half full. Steep for about 3 minutes. Strain.
Put ice into the pot. The ice will melt and dilute the tea to its proper level.

For a selection of recipes for Darjeeling tea, see here.