Darjeeling is a renown tea growing region located in Northeastern India in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. It is home to around 86 estates, all planted along the region’s steep sloping hills at an elevation of around 6000 ft.
Over the years, tea from the region has become extremely sought after and the estates of Darjeeling have been bought up by a few primary families and some corporations. The popularity of the tea is due in part to its complex, sweet and fruity flavor that resembles that of a white muscat grape. Darjeeling primarily produces black teas. These teas have a pleasant brew that is neither too light nor too heavy. Another positive quality of Darjeeling tea is that most, if not all, is produced using orthodox (handmade) methods.
Consumers should be careful to go through trusted vendors when buying Darjeeling so to avoid imitations. Darjeeling produces about 10 million kilograms of tea per annum, and yet around 30 million kilograms of tea is sold worldwide every year and marketed as Darjeeling. Much of the counterfeit tea comes from outlying regions such as Nepal or the Kangra region of India.
Some reputable Darjeeling Gardens include Goomtee, Okayti, Ambootia, Gopaldhara, Jungpana, Margaret’s Hope, Castelton, Makaibari, Singell, Samabeong, and Selimbong.