DARJEELING TEA TASTING PROCEDURE
Batches and liquor is prepared for each Darjeeling Tea tasting process. The tea accessories that are required for Darjeeling tea tasting are porcelain tea pots of 100 ml, stainless steel kettle and a sand-watch of 5 minutes. The tasting procedure comprises of 2% tea brew which is prepared with 2 grams made tea infused for 5 minutes. This is boiled in 10 ml of distilled water.
After the liquor is poured into the porcelain bowl, the infused tea leaf is shaken on to the lid by inverting the cup. The infused tea leaf and the inverted lid are kept back on top of the cup. The tea is tasted without milk and sugar and sometimes a blender may prefer to taste it with milk in larger cups. In organoleptic evaluation of tea quality, Darjeeling dry tea is examined first for tea colour, aroma, uniformity and tea tips. After this procedure, it passes over to the infused tea which should ideally be without green tinge bearing a full size unfolded leaf with a copper colour. Good quality Darjeeling Tea liquor is judged by clear bright and less coloured texture with a pinkish-greenish tinges meniscus where the tea liquor touches the bowl. While tasting Darjeeling tea, the liquor is sipped into the mouth with a spontaneous breath which brings the liquor in contact with the tongue and other parts of the mouth which are very sensitive to flavour and astringency, thus the liquor is not gulped or swallowed but expectorated into the spittoon.
After the tea tasting procedure, the report of the tea taster relates to tea leaf style, colour, brightness, flavour, astringency and the order of the preference of Darjeeling tea samples which also depends on where the tea is from Darjeeling First Flush, Darjeeling Second Flush or Darjeeling Autumn Flush tea seasons. This does not end here, the tea taster can then appreciate all the right qualities of tea while being processed and point out areas which needs rectification.
The sharply honed senses of sight, touch, smell and taste, all plays a pivotal roll when evaluating 'quality Darjeeling tea'.