It's an exciting week here at Debonair Tea Company HQ – our very first directly sourced tea is finally available to buy!
Darjeeling teas, and particularly the range produced at Glenburn, are absolute favourites of our co-founder and in-house sommelier, Louisa.
The name ‘Darjeeling’ literally means the ‘land of the thunderbolt’. The British acquired the land here in 1835, the first tea seeds were sown in 1839 and following bumper harvests, private growers had more than 2,000 plants growing in the area by 1853. It was not until 1856 that the first commercial tea garden was established.
Today, the Darjeeling tea industry employs over 50,000 people permanently and a further 15,000 during the plucking season (March-November). The tea itself grows on steep slops at altitudes ranging between 2,000 and 7,000ft. All of the factories, make orthodox black teas but some, including those at Glenburn, also make oolong, green and white teas.
Glenburn, a name that literally means ‘River Valley’, is situated in the shadow of the 3rd highest mountain in the world, Mount Kanchenjunga and covers 750 hectares. Started by a Scottish Tea Company in 1859, Glenburn now belongs to one of India's pioneering tea planting families, the Prakashes, who have become to be known as the ‘Chaiwala Family’, which literally means ‘Tea Planters’. Glenburn is itself home to 700 worker families
Like other Darjeeling teas, the flavour profile of Glenburn Darjeeling teas is influenced by the type of soil and environment in which it grows, when it is plucked and how it is processed.
Our Glenburn First Flush tea is plucked from only the finest tender shoots during late March and April. A light, silver-tipped tea, brewed at 90°C in filtered water, it is smooth on the palate with undertones of citrus flowers and peach. Full of honeyed aroma, it embodies all of the attributes of the finest Darjeeling First Flush tea. Try it yourself here!
Given that some of the very finest tea producing regions are seasonal so that the tea plant only grows in warmer temperatures, Spring is a very exciting time in tea production. Indeed, the plucking season in India, China, Japan and even Europe – including England’s Tregothnan tea gardens (pictured) – run from March through to November.
Following harvesting and processing, the very first of the new season’s tea leaves begin to make their way across the world from Asia in time for early summer.
It's been a lot of work behind the scenes but we are proud to finally be unveiling our latest offering - our high quality, Ceremonial Grade Japanese Matcha!
While we at Debonair Tea Co. enjoy all that the Japanese matcha tea ceremony has to offer, matcha has become quite the superfood darling in recent years and for good reason; it has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea!
The British penchant for tea is a national institution, but in a world now dominated by big coffee chains and increasingly complex coffee concoctions our devotion to the humble cuppa is seemingly in decline.
Or is it? There has been unprecedented growth in ‘speciality’ tea over the last decade, but what does ‘speciality’ actually mean? A hundred years ago there was nothing particularly special about loose, whole leaf tea. In many ways we are in fact going back to basics!
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