Cheap Darjeelings

I've bought Twinings Darjeeling (loose) and I don't like it at all. I've also tried other cheap brands (lipton, I belive) and it was also worthless. This would lead me to the conclusion that I simply dont like darjeeling if it wasn't that I have also tried some First Flush from the teastore and it was not only good, it was nothing like the Twinings or Lipton varieties.
So do I have a question? Is there some kind of standard Darjeeling or is it a very wide category? Can you expect anything from a tea bearing that name?
Reply to
Mårten Nilsson

I've had only a few darjeelings. I found them all perfectly acceptable, but weak. For afternoon tea, I've been exploring the
Reply to

M=E5rten Nilsson schrieb:
I doubt that Twinings Dajeeling is a Dajeeling at all. "Darjeeling" is not always Darjeeling. The Tea Board of India, the official Indian tea authority, estimates that up to 40,000 tons a year are sold as "Darjeeling" worldwide, although the district of Darjeeling only produces 8,000 to 11,000 tons a year. There seems to be no law to prevent brands to use the name Darjeeling for teas. Therefore, *real* Darjeeling has the Tea Board of India's the license number and the Tea Board of India's Darjeeling seal of authenticity on the package!
Go to a local or even internet tea shop and look for real darjeeling. The varity of types, tastes and also quality is huge (from fruity to nutty, from average but decent every day quality to fine distinctively invigorating aroma for very special occasions). But cheap? Darjeeling? No. And maybe you don't like the quite characteristic Drajeeling "basic taste" at all -- esp. tea with milk drinkers are often not very fond of Darjeeling tea.
My tip: start with an Inbetween! They are cheaper than 1st or 2nd flushs, have a fresh fruity-ish 1st flush like taste but are a bit smoother, therefore not very distinctive and less aromatic as good 1st flushs and not as flavoury as the 1st and 2nd flush but also less pungent (what you have esp. in 1st flushs). Good Inbetweens have a decent every day quality still with a very typical Darjeeling taste and Darjeeling characteristics. I would recommend it as a nice try for a real Darjeeling start.
Reply to
Dieter Folz

I have been a fan of Darjeelings for years. The brands you mentioned offer blended, rather bland teas for the mass market. You could try A. C=2E Perchs Teehandel ( in Copenhagen. Henning Ravn and his wife Annelise run a classic old European teashop that can supply you with authentic, quality Darjeeling teas. The site is in Danish, German and English. I can't guarantee you will like Darjeeling tea but what you get from him will be authentic. You can judge from there.
First Flush Darjeelings tend to be floral, aromatic, light bodied and piquant/astringent. The Second Flush teas have darker colored liquor, are a bit sweeter and have a more pronounced and deeper 'muscatel grape' overtone. For those not experienced with Darjeeling teas I would suggest Second Flush or Autumnal (less pronounced flavor). If they are too astringent for you you can try using 180 degree water. I hope this helps.
Reply to

"DPM" writes:
Sorry to make this quest a bit more arduous, but it really is possible to get insipid tea under the Makaibari label. The Makaibari I bought in a grocery store in a prosperous neighborhood in Calcutta late last winter, with no flush or year information on the package, had nothing that was unmistakably Darjeeling about it. It's quite possible, though, that Makaibari keeps tea like this from the export market.
Lew Perin /
Reply to
Lewis Perin

Well, you're right: I've never bought Makaibari tea from any but (as far as I can tell) reputable online vendors like Upton. Who knows if the tea you bought even came from Makaibari or used a counterfeit label? I have heard from several individuals who live or have lived in India that the very best Darjeeling is exported because the estates can command a price that most of the domestic market will or cannot pay. Perhaps you're right though, that even estates like Makaibari may produce tea for the domestic market that would never make it for export.
Regards, Dean
Reply to

FWIW, here is a totally unsolicited plug (I have no commercial interest in this) for silvertips online store, that specializes in Makaibari (the owner of the store claims to be related to the owner of the estate !). I have had good experience with them and the price is also good.
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Reply to
Aloke Prasad
You must have tried the powered bag ones or the loose leaf one which is why that is the case. Even loose leaf ones come in bad shape. Darjeeling Teas are the best Teas in the world. You weren't lucky enough to get the best deal.
Best Wishes.
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