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 > 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 worthles= s=2E > 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
toci
> 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?
It is something akin to wine - Bordeaux can produce plonk or very good stuff. The same Chateau can produce plonk or very good stuff and this varies by season and year.
Like all agricultural products it is a wide category - a tea grown in Darjeeling could be insipid and horrid and generally without character. What Darjeeling is famous for (as are other tea growing regions) is an intense flavor that is unique to the area - maybe 5 percent or less of the tea grown there has that character. Most of the rest of the tea will have varying amounts of this character so just on a probability basis you are unlikely to run into a "good" Darjeeling. It probably takes more money to buy a tea that has good Darjeeling character. This does not mean that if you spend a lot of money you will necessarily find good true Darjeeling character. For the most part it is a frustrating experience of buying lots of tea and finding a little that you like.
If you taste the prototypical example of any famous tea (oolong, lung Chin, Darjeeling, Assam etc. etc) you are likely to be impressed even if you naturally do not like that style of tea. Unfortunately, very little tea of this quality is produced anywhere in the world.
Roland
Reply to
Joe Doe
> 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. I find Lipton "Connoisseur" and Brooke-Bond "Supreme" to be good, considering their price of $9-10 per pound. All the single estate Darjeelings I've purchased are much better and are much more expensive. I don't like Lipton "Finest" nearly as much. I haven't had Twinings for a couple of years and I didn't find it a good value for the price. I'd buy "Connoisseur" or "Supreme" again except nobody in town stocks them any more. > 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. Maybe you just have a taste for the first flush, like I have a taste for the second flush. The brand-name blends are likely to be a mixture of flushes. They will try to provide the same taste in every batch in every year. The brands above most certainly are not straight first-flush tea. > So do I have a question? Is there some kind of standard Darjeeling or > is it a very wide category? It's a very wide category. For harvest time, there is first-flush, in-between, second-flush, and autumnal. For processing, there is white, oolong, black, and maybe green Darjeeling. For packaging, there is single-estate and blended. There are also differences between the appearance, aroma, and flavor of the teas from the various estates. > Can you expect anything from a tea bearing that name?
There should be some similarities between any teas that really are from Darjeeling.
However, tea is just another crop: It's grown under a variety of weather and soil conditions, and then harvested, sold, exported, shipped, repackaged, and retailed. There will be many smaller or larger differences based on the "categories" above and of course any categories which I've neglected to list.
Reply to
Jules Dubois
M=E5rten Nilsson schrieb: > 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 worthles= s=2E > 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. 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! > 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?
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.
Dieter
Reply to
Dieter Folz
> 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? > Mårten,
Darjeeling is probably my favorite tea, and I buy a lot of it over the course of a year. But as others have said, unless you buy "estate" grown tea you're likely to get plonk.
I suggest you try to find second flush tea from estates like Makaibari , Margaret's Hope, Jungpana, Arya and Puttabong. Makaibari , in particular produces wonderful tea - I've bought them for years and never had a bad one. I'm guessing you live in Sweden from your domain; look for online vendors in Germany - they get some of the best Darjeeling on the market. If after trying Makaibari you still don't like it then you just don't like Darjeeling.
Regards, Dean
Reply to
DPM
> 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 worthles= s=2E > 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?
Martin,
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 (www.perchs.dk) 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.
Richard
Reply to
t4u
"DPM" writes: > [...] > > I suggest you try to find second flush tea from estates like > Makaibari , Margaret's Hope, Jungpana, Arya and Puttabong. > Makaibari , in particular produces wonderful tea - I've bought them > for years and never had a bad one. I'm guessing you live in Sweden > from your domain; look for online vendors in Germany - they get some > of the best Darjeeling on the market. If after trying Makaibari you > still don't like it then you just don't like Darjeeling.
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 --- Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.html
Reply to
Lewis Perin
> "DPM" writes: > > > [...] > > > > I suggest you try to find second flush tea from estates like > > Makaibari , Margaret's Hope, Jungpana, Arya and Puttabong. > > Makaibari , in particular produces wonderful tea - I've bought them > > for years and never had a bad one. I'm guessing you live in Sweden > > from your domain; look for online vendors in Germany - they get some > > of the best Darjeeling on the market. If after trying Makaibari you > > still don't like it then you just don't like Darjeeling. > > 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 > Lew,
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
DPM
> > "Lewis Perin" wrote in message > news:pc7u0eked32.fsf@panix1.panix.com... >> "DPM" writes: >> >> > [...] >> > >> > I suggest you try to find second flush tea from estates like >> > Makaibari , Margaret's Hope, Jungpana, Arya and Puttabong. >> > Makaibari , in particular produces wonderful tea - ..... >> Sorry to make this quest a bit more arduous, but it really is possible >> to get insipid tea under the Makaibari label. >> /Lew >>..... > Lew, > > Well, you're right: I've never bought Makaibari tea from any but (as far > as > I can tell) reputable online vendors like Upton. > ....... > Dean
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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Aloke
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.
Niranjan www.DarjeelingTeaBoutique.com
Reply to
darjeelingtea

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