A refreshing and stimulating drink. As always with loose teas, be careful with quantities, enough for flavour but there can be too much of a good thing. It should be drunk without milk or sugar, otherwise you won't get the benefit of this fine tea. We brew a large potful and decant it into a thermos jug, to keep it hot for cups of tea during the day.
Mim is in the Darjeeling area of Northern India. From the town center on a clear day the peak of Mount Everest can be seen. The genus of the Darjeeling tea bush is the Chinese Jat, which gives it the distinctive muscatel character. Because the tea is grown at such high altitudes and in relatively cool weather the bushes do not grow quickly, and as such the production is limited. The best time of the year for quality is during 'second-flush' (end May - end June). During this time Darjeelings are incomparable to any other tea in the world. The fragrance and taste is a complex bouquet that reaches right out of the cup. Some would describe the taste as nutty; others find it reminds them of black currants, but most often it is described as similar to the taste and fragrance of muscat grapes.
Due to the superb taste and limited production of Darjeelings, these teas are quite expensive. There are many who wish to take advantage of the high prices and as a result there are Darjeeling 'blends'. Regrettably these blends are quite often very poor facsimiles of Darjeeling and in some cases only contain 10% true Darjeeling teas; the balance made up from other production areas. A true estate Darjeeling is your guarantee of quality and genuine Darjeeling tea.
There are 3 main times of year for producing good quality Darjeelings:
1st flush - springtime harvested teas from late Feb. to mid April. The young leaves yield a light tea with generally intense muscatel with 'point'. A gentle afternoon tea.
2nd flush - Harvested in June, these teas are more fully developed. The liquor is bright and the taste full and round excellent muscatel. A superb afternoon tea that is especially good with scones and raspberry conserve.
Autumnal - Not always available depending upon the weather, they are typified by a round taste and coppery liquor. Excellent as a breakfast tea with milk.
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 7-9oz / 200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).