How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?


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How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby ClarG » Dec 1st, '13, 00:24

I have read that the best way to make a proper cup of Darjeeling black tea is to wait until the water boils and then let it cool down for a minute or three minutes, and then put it over the tea leaves.

I have done this and it works pretty well.

How do you make a cup of Darjeeling black tea?
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby Genushumanusali... » Dec 1st, '13, 05:07

I've experimented a bit with water temperature with a variable temp kettle and I find that around 85C water and 3-4 minutes dependant on the tea suits my taste with most darjeelings. Much hotter and I find the tea a little too astringent for my tastes and much cooler and I find it all a bit wishy-washy. Since astringency is one of darjeelings characteristics, I'm sure there are people who'd appreciate it brewed hotter than me.

*I brew darjeelings western style.
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby ClarG » Dec 3rd, '13, 09:01

What do you mean by "Western style"?
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby b101 » Dec 6th, '13, 04:22

It depends how green the leaves are and from which flush they were plucked. If they are on the green side and from 1st flush, I tend to brew them in the following way: wait 1 minute if the lif of the kettle is open (for the water to cool to 85c), and 2 min if you leave it on. then put more leaves than you usual do with other indian\sri lanka teas (8-10g per 300 ml). Brew for about 2 min and an half. If they are more on the brown\black side (2nd flush), do the following: wait half a minute if the lif of the kettle is open (for the water to cool to 90c), and 1 min if you leave it on. then put more leaves than you usual do with other indian\sri lanka teas (8-10g per 300 ml). Brew for about 3 min. Hope that will help you. I really happy with this method over the years with darjeeling.
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby ClarG » Dec 6th, '13, 08:16

b101 wrote:It depends how green the leaves are and from which flush they were plucked. If they are on the green side and from 1st flush, I tend to brew them in the following way: wait 1 minute if the lif of the kettle is open (for the water to cool to 85c), and 2 min if you leave it on. then put more leaves than you usual do with other indian\sri lanka teas (8-10g per 300 ml). Brew for about 2 min and an half. If they are more on the brown\black side (2nd flush), do the following: wait half a minute if the lif of the kettle is open (for the water to cool to 90c), and 1 min if you leave it on. then put more leaves than you usual do with other indian\sri lanka teas (8-10g per 300 ml). Brew for about 3 min. Hope that will help you. I really happy with this method over the years with darjeeling.

Thank you. I tried this method today this morning and it works very well.
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby .m. » Dec 6th, '13, 16:54

With 1st flush darjeelings, i do usually several shorter infusions (gongfu style), typically 3-5. With 2nd flush, i tend to go just for a single infusion (western style), about 3min. Temperatures similar to what b101 says.
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby Genushumanusali... » Dec 7th, '13, 06:33

ClarG wrote:What do you mean by "Western style"?

About 1 teaspoon of tea for every 200-250ml of water and a single infusion. Greener first flushes I'll usually brew for less time than second flushes.

After reading this thread I'm going have to try shorter infusions of first flush darjeelings using more leaf. Sounds yum!
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby Chip » Dec 7th, '13, 09:10

genushumanusalice wrote:
ClarG wrote:What do you mean by "Western style"?

About 1 teaspoon of tea for every 200-250ml of water and a single infusion. Greener first flushes I'll usually brew for less time than second flushes.

After reading this thread I'm going have to try shorter infusions of first flush darjeelings using more leaf. Sounds yum!

Western also includes longer steeping than gong fu brewing ... 2-5 minutes depending on the tea, etc.
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How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby amaranto » Dec 10th, '13, 00:07

b101 wrote:It depends how green the leaves are and from which flush they were plucked. If they are on the green side and from 1st flush, I tend to brew them in the following way: wait 1 minute if the lif of the kettle is open (for the water to cool to 85c), and 2 min if you leave it on. then put more leaves than you usual do with other indian\sri lanka teas (8-10g per 300 ml). Brew for about 2 min and an half. If they are more on the brown\black side (2nd flush), do the following: wait half a minute if the lif of the kettle is open (for the water to cool to 90c), and 1 min if you leave it on. then put more leaves than you usual do with other indian\sri lanka teas (8-10g per 300 ml). Brew for about 3 min. Hope that will help you. I really happy with this method over the years with darjeeling.


I brew the different flushes in a very similar manner with respect to timing and temperature as a result of trial and error. There seems to be a perfect spot where first flush has a nice, round fresh flavor without being too astringent. I find that I have to be careful to not use as much leaf as I generally do when brewing other types of tea--even if brewed Western style.
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby ClarG » Mar 11th, '14, 13:04

I made some Darjeeling tea the other day and it was an Autumn flush that I steeped for 5 mins.
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby Tead Off » Mar 11th, '14, 22:01

ClarG wrote:I made some Darjeeling tea the other day and it was an Autumn flush that I steeped for 5 mins.

The only way to know how long for a tea to steep is to experiment. 5 minutes for some teas will work. But, it also depends on leaf/water volume ratio.
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby ClarG » Sep 5th, '15, 03:02

What is the best way to make Autumnal flush Darjeeling tea?
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby ethan » Sep 5th, '15, 09:16

ClarG,

6 months later & again you ask about preparing an autumn flush Darjeeling. If you are not happy w/ your tea, perhaps Darjeeling is not your for you. Seriously, I think you like Darjeeling but find it challenging.

For me, lower temperature water does not provide enough aroma, but steeping too long w/ boiling water may lead to harshness.

Usually about 1.5 grams of leaf for about 6 ounces of boiling water for an infusion of 2 - 2.5 minutes, works for me. Lately, there are times the flavors seem too bold. (This is for the tea I have had for a year & love.)

For samples of this year's flushes, I am finding much more time is necessary. When I lower temperature, I find < than 92C temperature useless. Again, I often don't produce a "perfect" cup. I may need to accept more astringency for more flavor; or, I accept less flavor to have a smoother cup.

I've had a similar situation w/ green oolongs: trying to strike an ideal balance between the taste of vegetables & minerals (which I only want a hint of) & sweeter flavors.

ClarG, it is a good ? because after experimenting & finding "ideal" parameters, one might find those parameters don't always produce a perfect cup of tea.
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Re: How do you make a proper cup of black Darjeeling?

Postby kuánglóng » Sep 8th, '15, 08:12

ClarG wrote:What is the best way to make Autumnal flush Darjeeling tea?


I'd make sure I have some fine enough leaves to start with, maybe some other ('reference') leaves to compare them to and then experiment with the parameters: temperature (pre-heat), dosage, time and not at last the brewing vessel (form, material) and of course the type of water.
Sounds too complicated? Up to you but I love it that way. I rarely brew more than 150ml of any tea at once, make my notes, change one parameter at a time and so on and so forth. With some teas the slightest changes of those parameters can produce surprisingly different results and looking back over many years of brewing teas this way me thinks that the extra time and (non-)effort were more than worth it. YMMV.
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