Sunday, 28 November 2010

Shiva in the afternoon

Less than a week before I host a Darjeeling tea tasting, and I thought I'd invite discussion about tea from this region. For the rest of the week, I'll be writing about the specific teas and other things Darjeeling-related, but to start out...what do you think of when you think of Darjeeling?

Many people only drink Darjeeling in the afternoon. No idea why. Maybe one of you has a theory.

On some site more than a year ago, I read that the Hindu god Shiva had something to do with the inexplicably unique taste of these teas. I'd be more willing to blame it on the soil, mountain air and caring love of the tea growers, but I wouldn't count Shiva out entirely.

It's been mentioned here before, but why does a tea that's classified as black appear to be dark green leaves? It's definitely not green tea, though I have had some green as well as Oolong from Darjeeling, but why the not quite brown/black leaves?

Ok, please join in the conversation here. Even if you know little, what are the things you've heard/read?

If you ask me something I'd never thought of, it very well might become an impending blogpost.



    Scientific explanation of that phenomenon!

  2. The link with Shiva is that inhabitants believe that the wind that blows is the breath of Lord Shiva and the fountain that flows from Shiva's head waters the crops.

    Do you prefer the scientific or the mythological approach? :P

  3. Sir William, I read your interesting blog post, but I'm a little confused. Are you saying that Darjeeling is 'hard withered" but only to a certain extent, which means it partly still looks green? What does "only to a certain extent mean and why is that?"

    Anyway,I've been thinking along your lines lahik- I like looking at Darjeeling because it looks unexpectedly different.

    I'll drink it any time of the day really.

  4. Jackie,

    The "Very Hard" wither that Darjeeling teas go through reduces the moisture content of the leaf, as well as inhibit the polyphenols in the leaf from bonding with oxygen, which is what oxidation is.
    The "to a certain extent" part refers to the fact that the leaves cannot physically oxidize past a certain point, due to the loss of moisture during the "Very Hard" wither. So in effect, the tea is still considered 100% oxidized but only because of the fact that oxidation cannot physically occur to turn the entire leaf to copper/brown/red color.