Darjeeling is a name that still captures the romantic notions of many. To some, it is the greatest tea that the British ever created and is deserving of its title, “The Champagne of Teas.” When at its best, Darjeeling teas can stop even the most discerning of tea drinkers in their tracks, with its distinct muscatel grape flavor, complex floral and honeyed notes and a deep satisfying finish.
To others, Darjeeling is a picturesque hill station, which attracts flocks of tourists each year, from March to October, looking to escape the intense heat of the plains. On a clear day, there are many vantage points where one can take in the beauty of this verdant tea-growing region, highlighted by the breathtaking backdrop of the majestic Kanchenjunga Mountain, the world’s third highest peak.
Both of these ways to look at Darjeeling have an out of time quality that leans heavily on charm and nostalgia. The centuries old tradition of making Darjeeling tea and the European architecture and layout of the town harken back to a simpler time when transformation came at a much slower pace. Now change arrives at a near breakneck speed and this region has had to cope with a series of challenges, from the manmade to the environmental. Yet, life continues, and people find a way. Throughout all this, Smith Tea’s commitment to Darjeeling remains unchanged.
This year we celebrate this commitment with the launch of our last seasonal iced tea for 2022, Darjeeling Sunrise, a tea meant to play on the concept of classic iced tea. When traveling to Darjeeling this year, I learned that the Darjeeling area used to be known for producing oranges and I wanted to tie in this flavor to the blend, to honor the past while acknowledging the constant of change.
Starting with 1st and 2nd Flush Darjeeling, we blend these with Assam and Ceylon black teas, before rounding out with mango, pineapple and orange natural flavors, resulting in a brisk thirst-quenching cup that can light up any part of the day.
A portion of the sale for each bag will go to support Smith Teamaker's Broadleaf initiative. Broadleaf empowers rural tea communities in Darjeeling by identifying and training future leaders in education and health care. Every donation will directly go to help fund a new School Health Activist who will provide and teach health education in primary schools in Darjeeling.
We hope you enjoy this tea as much as we enjoyed creating it. For this sunrise and for many more to come.
- Ravi Kroesen, VP of Tea