As the warmer weather falls upon us, so too, have this season’s Darjeelings! This year, The Tea Emporium is offering three different Darjeeling teas from different tea estates. This year’s offerings are all first-flush darjeelings, which yield a more delicate flavour than its later counterparts, or other black teas, for that matter! Often nicknamed ‘the champagne of teas’, once you try a Darjeeling, you will see why.

Because a darjeeling is quite delicate for a black tea, it is important to brew the tea like a green or a white tea – with a slightly cooler temperature than boiling hot. Let your fresh, hot kettle water cool for about 5 to 7 minutes, or immerse some ice cubes into your hot water to get the optimal brewing temperature.

Makaibari Darjeeling FTGFOP1 1st flush 2012

Harvested from the Makaibari Estate in the Kurseong Valley, this tea is pleasant, sweet, and distinctly muscat in aroma. The leaves are indicative of spring – vibrant green and lovely. This tea has a smooth, buttery finish that coats your tongue, a bit of a conundrum, considering its light buttercup-yellow brew. It has a distinctly muscatel-grape flavour, without the tartness, of course; only the sweetness. $4.95 / 10 grams

Castleton FTGFOP1 1st flush 2012

This Darjeeling is harvested from the Castleton Tea Estate in the Kurseong South Valley. The tea is grown in an altitude of 2300 m. above ground level! The finished leaves are olive green in colour; its aroma, when wet, smells of damp earth and flowers. There is a slight astringency to the brew, but it is buttery smooth on the palette, with a delicate, sweet, and floral finish, almost reminiscent of orchids. $3.95 / 10 grams

Dooteriah FTGFOP 1st flush 2012

This beautiful Darjeeling comes from a tea estate founded in 1871. The wet leaves impart a savoury-sweet aroma, while a subtle earthiness accompanies the light and delicate finish on your tongue, which is also, quite interestingly, reminiscent of smoke. $3.95 / 10 grams

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For a slight twist on a classic on those sweltering hot afternoons, I like to serve Darjeelings iced, inside a chilled, fluted glass; unsweetened, of course. The experience is very much akin to sipping champagne. When making teas iced, double the amount of tea and brew accordingly.

To acquire some of these Darjeelings, or to find out more about our tea gallery, visit one of our four locations below:

  • 351 Eglinton Avenue West
  • Loblaws Maple Leaf Garden
    60 Carlton Street
  • First Canadian Place
  • 337 Danforth Avenue