Tea is woven deeply into the cultural fabric of the UK and Ireland. You’ll find some in every home. Even people who don’t drink the stuff will keep it in their kitchen cupboard in case anybody calls by. It’s normal, even expected, to greet house guests with the all-important question “Do you want a cuppa?”
Usually, this will mean your host handing you a cup of a popular blend such as Lyons, Barry’s or Yorkshire Tea. But some people prefer a more specific flavour profile from their brew, and will plump instead for single-variety teas, made from just one kind of leaf. At Dalriata, we have a few of these on offer, produced by the renowned English teamaker Taylor’s of Harrogate. Their Afternoon Darjeeling tea is grown high in the Himalayan foothills of eastern India, and has a truly unique flavour quite unlike other teas.
There are several different variants of Darjeeling tea, denoted by time of year when they are picked. Each “flush”, or harvest, produces leaves with their own characteristics. Taylors of Harrogate’s Afternoon Darjeeling is made from the second flush, which takes place in the spring. What makes this harvest really special is that it takes place right after the tea bushes have been attacked by moths and crickets! These cause the plants to produce flavour compounds, which get into the leaves and give them a unique aroma and taste. It’s often compared to the sweet, floral scent of muscat grapes, but to us it’s also reminiscent of sticky late-summer blackberries, honey, toffee… it’s a pretty extraordinary tea.
Darjeeling tea comes from the West Bengal region of India, high in the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s cooler and drier here than in the Assam region, which makes growing tea more difficult. This means that producers in this area can’t compete on price, so instead they focus on producing the best tea they can. As a result, Darjeeling tea is renowned for its exceptional quality – and only the best of the best makes it into Taylor’s of Harrogate’s Afternoon Darjeeling Tea.
As the name implies, it’s intended to be savoured in leisurely afternoons, so that you can take the time to enjoy its delicate, complex aromas of fruit and flowers. But of course, that’s entirely up to you – there are no rules here! Whenever you choose to drink Afternoon Darjeeling Tea, it’s delicious and refreshing.
If you’re looking for something a little different from your tea, Taylor’s of Harrogate’s Afternoon Darjeeling Tea might be just the thing. It’s a favourite of tea connoisseurs, and some even call it “the champagne of teas”. The box is as handsome as befits a product of this quality, and contains 20 tea bags, each one individually wrapped in a paper sleeve to keep them fresh. They also have their own a drawstring and a tag, so they’re perfect for for making a single cup at a time, as well as working great in a teapot.