Tea FAQ (Part II)

Q: How do I know when the tea is steeped correctly?

A: The only way to tell is to taste it. Don’t rely on the color unless you are familiar with a specific tea. There are some general guidelines for steeping tea, but, in the end, personal preference should be your guide.

Q: How much caffeine does tea have in it?

A: Tea has a wide range of caffeine depending upon the type of tea, plant variety, and brewing style. Generally, green teas contain 5-20 milligrams, Oolong teas contain 35-45 milligrams, and Black teas have 45-60 milligrams of caffeine in an 8 oz. cup. By comparison, a typical cup of coffee has roughly 125-185 milligrams of caffeine.

Q: Is Green tea really as healthy as people say it is?

A: There is an increasing body of scientific evidence that points to the many health benefits of Green tea – especially in its high contents of polyphenols - powerful anti-oxidants.

Q:How is flavored tea made?

<A: Traditionally, jasmine tea is made by exposing green tea (or a light oolong) to fresh jasmine at night when the flowers are most fragrant. They are then separated during the day. This process is repeated several times. This is the one flavored tea in which high qualities of both tea and jasmine are occasionally used to create a wonderful beverage. Other flavored teas are made by adding essential oils (bergamot for Early Grey), herbs, spices, perfumes or even synthetic flavorings.

Q: What does ‘Flush’ mean, when referring to Darjeeling tea?

A: In tea, the tender apical portions of shoots comprising the terminal bud, the internodes and two or three expanding leaves immediately below it, which together constitute the crop, the ‘flush’. Flush refers to the four separate plucking seasons throughout the year, each known for it’s distinctive flavor. First Flush (March - April), Second Flush (May - June), Monsoon Flush (July - September) and Autumnal Flush (October - November) are the traditional names.

Q: What is Gung Fu style?

A: Oolong tea is prepared in Taiwan and China in Gung Fu style. A large amount of leaves are used in a small clay pot. The infusions are very short, and all the liquor is poured off immediately into thimble cups. This method allows up to ten infusions using the same leaves.

Q: What is Darjeeling Tea?

A: Darjeeling Tea is the World’s most expensive and exotically flavoured tea. According to the Tea Board Of India - "Darjeeling Tea" means tea which has been cultivated, grown, produced, manufactured and processed in tea gardens in the hilly areas of Sadar Sub-Division, only hilly areas of Kalimpong Sub-Division comprising of Samabeong Tea Estate, Ambiok Tea Estate, Mission Hill Tea Estate and Kumai Tea Estate and Kurseong Sub-Division excluding the areas in jurisdiction list 20, 21, 23,24, 29, 31 and 33 comprising Subtiguri (Siliguri) Sub-Division of New Chumta Tea Estate, Simulbari and Marionbari Tea Estate of Kurseong Police Station in Kurseong Sub-Division of the District of Darjeeling in the State of West Bengal, India. Tea which has been processed and manufactured in a factory located in the aforesaid area. Which, when brewed, has a distinctive, naturally occurring aroma and taste with light tea liquour and the infused leaf of which has a distinctive fragrance.

Q: Where is Darjeeling Tea produced and what is its annual production?

A: Darjeeling Tea is grown and produced only in the hilly areas of Darjeeling district. Darjeeling is located on the Northern part of West Bengal, India. There are only 77 Tea Estates which produce Darjeeling Tea. All of these are in Darjeeling District and only teas coming from these estates can be called Darjeeling Tea. It cannot be produced anywhere else in the World. The Annual production of Darjeeling Tea is approximately 10 Million Kg.

Q: What makes Darjeeling Tea so Exclusive?

A: Darjeeling Tea is widely and universally acknowledged to be the finest tea, because its muscatel flavour is so unique that it cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. It has no equal.
Grown in the romantic and mystical mountainous region of Darjeeling at an elevation of 750 - 2000 metre, the tea is imbued with an incomparable charisma and quality. Grown in century old Tea Gardens, these tea bushes are nurtured by intermittent rainfall, sunshine and moisture laden mellow mists. The soil is rich and the hilly terrain provides natural drainage for the generous rainfall the district receives.
Even the tea pluckers, well aware of the status their produce enjoys throughout the world, pick only the finest two leaf and the bud to enhance the unique flavour which has been described as “Muscatel”.
Gifted with these natural elements, the simple fact that only 10 million Kg. of Darjeeling Tea is produced annually by the Darjeeling district, has made it all more exclusive and desirable.
Adherance to this high quality profile, results in extremely low yields. The Darjeeling Planter has never succumbed to the temptation of increasing yields at the expense of quality and makes every effort to ensure the highest quality standards, inspite of the high costs involved.
It would not be an overstatement to say that Darjeeling Tea is by far the finest and most sought after Tea in the world