Darjeeling and the 21st Century

I admit that I’ve never tried Darjeeling. It sounds to me like it’s the type of tea that should be enjoyed on its own, just for the sake of enjoying the tea. But these days most of my tea is consumed with a meal.

I must admit I have dunked a tea bag into hot water and called it tea. I have even made Darjeeling tea, sometimes called the champagne of teas, from a tea bag.

For tea gurus like Anindyo Choudhury, that is sacrilege. “I wouldn’t even touch it,” he says.

Most tea bag teas are chopped and cut by machine instead of being rolled and twisted, hand-plucked and hand-processed. The best Darjeeling tea is loose leaf, steeped for a couple of minutes in hot water — it’s light and bright.

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