TRENDS & NEWS
DARJEELING TEA TASTING
A delicate art form, the routines and rituals of tea tasting are a highly regarded exercise among those with the most discerning palates. Both scientific and artistic, articulating the intangible nuances of Darjeeling teas is a unique skill developed over many years and thousands of teas. Recognizing the complexity of such teas is like having the memory on your tongue - your taste buds feel it all, recalling certain nuances and experiences.
Step 1: Infusion
To begin the process, TWG Tea tasters infuse the tea leaves in individual sized, ceramic white infusion pots. The small pitchers are unique to the Darjeeling tasting ritual, with short sharp spouts akin to a bird’s beak. The infusion pot comes with a fitted lid used towards the end of the tasting where the infused wet leaves are displayed in their full glory, allowing the tea taster to take in the wafts of aroma and notes of sweet, fruity, malty, tart from the fresh harvests. Teas are infused for about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the selection.
Step 2: Tasting
In order to allow the tea leaves to develop their full potential, matching white porcelain cups without handles best show off the tea’s quality, aroma and colour. The tea infusions are poured out into the white porcelain cups with the lid held tightly on and the pot propped horizontally into the bowl. The infusion pot lies snugly in the bowl with the lid firmly pinched shut as the leaves are completely drained. The pot is then removed from the tea bowl, lid turned over with the wet tea leaves in a neat mound for the tea tasters to smell and inspect the quality.
TWG Tea Tip: When tasting Darjeeling, look at the liquor for the depth of colour and clarity, then taste for briskness, quality, strength and aroma.
Step 3: Selection
To delight tea connoisseurs, TWG Tea tasters have sampled the globe to bring in a curated selection of single estate Darjeeling First Flush Harvests flown directly from illustrious gardens – Okayti, Orange Valley, Phuguri, Puttabong... each carefully picked by hand, processed and handcrafted in the most natural and artisanal fashion to produce an exceptional cup of Darjeeling tea.