MY TEA TASTING EXPERIENCE AT MAYUKH, DARJEELING

On a sunny October day when tourists dote around the picturesque hill town of Darjeeling, I escaped the crowd and found myself in a cosy corner right in the heart of Darjeeling town.  Known as Mayukh, the corner was a tea room and interesting in more than one ways. Soon I found myself indulging in one of the most interesting activities at Mayukh, a full-fledged tea tasting session at their beautiful tea room. Just near the store, but shrewdly secluded away, the tea room for these professional tea tasting sessions accommodates around 30 people at one go. Sometimes these sessions are also carried out at the store itself. While I seated myself on a comfortable sofa in the warmly lit tasting room, the team at Mayukh started deftly lining the quintessential white porcelain tasting set in which they brewed a mind-boggling array of Darjeeling teas and other varieties.  Reminiscent of the antique days, an old-fashioned hourglass trickled down to five minutes and the teas were ready!  One by one the teas were served in small traditional Asian cups: the lighter floral ones in the beginning that moved on towards the stronger full-bodied teas. Through the entire process, the amiable people kept sharing their knowledge about tea and what made Darjeeling tea so unique.

I thoroughly enjoyed the activity and came to know about all these teas that I never knew existed such as something called WHITE TEA!  During the session, the founder of Mayukh himself came over to share the experience while explaining the process of plucking, producing, brewing and sipping of Mayukh Teas. According to him, there is the right way to ‘taste’ the teas by sipping in a fashion that produces a slurping sound. The more oxygen is taken in while sipping, the more flavour is obtained by the palatte. This may seem awkward to many, but it is a fun activity. The back-and-forth interaction and the taste of so many unforgettable teas gave me a lot for keepsakes as knowledge and memories I gathered in the town of Darjeeling.