The fertile misty hills of Darjeeling in the Indian Himalayas produce some of the world's most highly prized tea, and so we're excited to finally add a Darjeeling tea to our collection.
At the Karma Tea Co, we're committed to sourcing directly so we can offer the freshest, best tasting most ethically and sustainably sourced teas we can find. And so, we waited till we were able to visit Darjeeling which we finally did this summer in search of the perfect cup.
We arrived just in time for the Second Flush (or harvesting) which is one of the most exciting times in the tea calendar in Darjeeling. Teas produced at this time are considered to be exceptionally good and have that elusive muscatel aroma and taste for which second flush teas are famous.
Where is it sourced from?
We visited many tea gardens during our recent trip. There are over 80 in Darjeeling and settled on sourcing from a small family-owned garden called Giddapahar which is well known for its old classic plants. Importantly the owners are committed to sustainable tea growing.
Giddapahar is a small tea garden located on the slopes in the town of Kurseong in the Darjeeling district. It was established in 1881 and has been in the Shaw family since then. Shumanshu Shaw, the fourth generation of the Shaw family, manages the garden and is very involved in the day-to-day running of the garden.
When we visited the tea garden last month, the monsoon rains had just started and the tea gardens were shrouded in mist most of the day which wasn't so great for the view, but great for the tea plant..!
Giddapahar makes some of the best tea in Darjeeling. By best, we mean tea that not only tastes delicious, but is good for all parts of the supply chain. That starts with quality loose leaf tea that is carefully crafted, and sustainably grown. It also means sourcing from gardens that provide good conditions for their workers.
And of course it has to taste amazing..! This year's second flush produced by the garden didn't disappoint. It's made made from old China bushes to give the best flavours with lovely notes of stone fruits like sweet plums and muscat. It brews a deep honey colour.
We've called our tea "Anyday Darjeeling" because we want to make Darjeeling available, affordable and accessible to drink any day of the week.
At a time when gardens in the exceptional terroir of Darjeeling are coming up against multiple challenges, it's more important than ever to revive pride in Darjeeling teas, and support producers there if we want to keep drinking these teas in the future..!
Try Anyday Darjeeling now.