What is Darjeeling Muscatel Tea?

Jan 24 , 2023


Mayukh Tea

What is Darjeeling Muscatel Tea?

A thing of beauty is a joy forever, Perhaps it's basic economics, or perhaps its the fear of losing something precious. But isn't it true that that scarcity of resources makes them worth cherishing?

It is quite unfathomable how 100s of kilometers away from France, the otherwise neglected hill town in the Eastern Himalayas known as Darjeeling earned the crown for producing the famous "Champagne of teas".

Why is Darjeeling tea special?

It is quite befitting for the tea leaves originating in the steep hills of Darjeeling produced with the utmost nurture rendered by a marginalized community of tea workers working with scarce resources to be compared to the artisanal one-of-a-kind sparkling wine, the famous Champagne. Both are precious. 

Darjeeling muscatel tea

So what sets Darjeeling tea apart? Experts have the answers. Darjeeling is famous for its muscatel variety of tea, a flavor that cannot be replicated in any other tea-producing region in the World.

Did You Know: Darjeeling Tea Is the First GI-Tagged Product from India.

First things first, how many types of Darjeeling are there?

There are around 87 tea estates in Darjeeling, that produce the most well-known teas globally. Typically, Darjeeling tea three goes through four seasons known as "Flushes". These are:

  1. First Flush or Spring Flush - This variety is grassy and light-bodied with floral notes
  2. Second Flush, Summer Flush- One of the finest teas of the region with that prominent muscatel flavor and a full-bodied, well-rounded character
  3. Monsoonal Flush - These are usually of lower flavor profiles and are mostly used for tea-blends
  4. Autumn Flush - This type of Darjeeling is malty and rich with notes of hazelnuts and chocolates

What is first flush tea?

first flush tea

The harvesting of tea leaves through different seasons is known as flush. The first flush is the spring harvest which is the most tender and creates an excellent and refreshing tea. 

Now, what is the difference between first-flush and second-flush tea?

 First plucking or harvest during springtime after the tea plants awaken from winter dormancy.  Second plucking of tea plants during Summer months after first-flush is over
From Late February to May  From May to Early June
 Leaves are greenish and tender  Dark brown mature leaves
 Light-bodied tea with grassy and floral flavor Smooth and full-bodied with muscatel flavor
Example: Poobong First Flush  Example: Giddapahar Muscatel Tea

Without further ado, let's find out all about this unique muscatel flavor of Darjeeling tea

tea jassids

As the summer season starts, the polyphenols in the tea leaves intensify in the cells of tea leaves. This is when the muscatel medley of Darjeeling tea takes place. According to research, the muscatel flavor found in Darjeeling tea is attributed to a special biochemical process in the tea bushes that is activated when a native pest known as the Tea Green Fly, a type of jassid (locally “kakro paat”) attacks the bushes for nutrition. As the green fly releases its sting, the tea bushes fight back with the defense mechanism of a chemical called phytoalexin. And it is this very compound that brings out the unique honey-like muscatel flavor in Darjeeling tea. 

So what is muscat Flavour?

The elusive muscat flavor is used to describe many special gourmet delicacies, from Muscat wines to Darjeeling teas. This flavor is mainly descriptive of the muscat grapes, Vitis vinifera, used primarily in wine production and for raisins. It is a sweet almost nectarine and fruity flavor with a sharp and pleasant acidity.

Also Read: Chemistry Behind the Aroma of Tea 

And What Does Muscat Taste Like? 

The flavor palate of muscats resembles juicy tropical fruits with citrusy notes. They can be compared to tangerines, apricots, sweet orange blossoms, lychee, and passion fruit, with mild earthy floral tones of beach roses and jasmines and a soft spiciness of cinnamon. 

Finally, let us understand what is muscat tea.

muscatel tea darjeeling

Muscatel tea is a luscious black tea that evokes the scent of plump muscatel grapes and a juicy sweet and astringent flavor. It is refreshing and even suited for making strong iced teas. A fine choice for a mid-day pick-me-up. 

Read More: Benefits of Darjeeling Tea

About Darjeeling Muscatel Tea 

A golden cup of Darjeeling muscatel tea inviting with sweet citrusy notes and the warmth of honey is the finest second-flush tea produced in DarjeelingHere's a look at a good cup:

  • Dry Leaf: Long and wiry brown leaves with hints of forest green redolent of oak wood and citrus zest.
  • Infusion: Glossy and evenly leaves in dark brown shades with the sweet fragrance of pulpy fruits like peaches with the warmth of hazelnuts.
  • Liquor: A bright cup in deep fluorescent amber with juicy sweet notes and a smooth substantial body with true muscatel notes similar to tart notes of passion fruit rounded off by a finish of sweet honey

Shop Mayukh Darjeeling Muscatel Tea Online 

Our teas are freshly sourced directly from the 87 tea estates in Darjeeling. We have Darjeeling muscatel teas for all kinds of budgets, sorted from low to high:

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