Walking the Tightrope in Darjeeling

William Daniell was only 16 when he first set sail with his uncle to Calcutta in 1785. A grand adventure for a young man.

Before long, he was a painter of Indian colonial scenes working in watercolour, oils and etchings.

His quality was beautifully described thus: "one may almost feel the warmth of an Indian sky, the water seems to be in actual motion and the animals, trees and plants are studies for the naturalist".

In this dramatic painting, Daniell presents a hair-raising scene of dozens of laiden men crossing a wild-looking Alkananda River near Srinigar in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, via just a rope bridge.

Beyond the mountains in the background, the start of the great Himalayas, and the home of our Drajeeling tea.


The Campbell Darjeeling Black Pyramid Tea Bag Sachets x10

Net Weight: 25g

Our light and fragrant second flush (harvest) Darjeeling black tea with the signature muscatel flavour, is named in honour of The East India Company's Dr Campbell, who planted the first tea bush in Darjeeling.

The East India Company - Lifestyle


Darjeeling’s teas, revered from East to West, were once called the 'Champagne of Tea'.

Today, 87 tea gardens are to be found on the hillsides of Darjeeling in the Eastern Himalayas, all in altitudes above 600m.

“The unique flavours of Darjeeling come from Chinese tea genetics mixing with the Indian terroir and climate. The tea plant flourishes in the well-drained steep slopes and a mix of cool dry and warm moist air through the year, combined then with the intricacies of harvesting and processing,” says Lalith Lenadora, The East India Company's Tea Master.
“It's lighter and less astringent than most black teas, but more layered and complex than teas from other parts of India."

Our Campbell Darjeeling is a second flush, picked between May and June at precisely the optimal moment, overseen by Lenadora and has been specifically chosen for its complexity, lack of astringency and of course the famously distinctive muscatel-flavour in cup.
Brews to a delightful amber colour, with an initial lightness and slightly fruity sweetness to the liquor, followed by a well-balanced dryness of the palate. Hence the description most associated with Darjeeling second flush teas - Muscatel.

This of course refers to the Muscat grape, one of the oldest grape varieties. Good examples of Darjeeling second flush teas share this grape-like character: floral sweetness followed by the emergence of drying tannins, making for a complex brew that changes through the cup.
Tea is analogous with wine in having so many different types and flavours - astringency, sweetness, fruit notes, smokiness to name but a few. Just like wine therefore, the pairing of different teas with different foods is a mixture of art and science.

Darjeeling second flush is unusual in having light fruity notes followed by drying tannins.

We enjoy it therefore with sweet deserts or pastries - the tannins helping to accentuate the sweetness all the way through the desert.




Brewing Time


Best enjoyed without milk or sugar, in the afternoon.

Cold Brew - Darjeeling Second Flush

The complexity of this tea creates a super cold alternative, with all the flavour and perhaps a little more natural sweetness. Perfect for those looking for a wine alternative with a meal [makes 1 litre].

-Place 4 pyramid teabags of Campbell Darjeeling in a mug
-Just cover with boiling water, stir and leave for a few seconds
-Fill a jug with 1 litre fresh water, pour in the tea liquor and pyramid bags
-Refrigerate, leave for up to a day to slowly ‘cold brew’

Taste to decide when ready, decant the liquor into an old wine bottle to create an extra experience!


Black Tea.


Store in a cool, dry place avoiding direct sunlight and strong odours.


Darjeeling Tea - How it started

The British needed tea from an alternative source to China. They did, to Darjeeling's benefit, thanks to 2 officers of The East India Company.

Robert Fortune was a Scottish botanist. He knew China well and had survived hair-raising adventures. He was a Mandarin speaker and blended in with his choice of Chinese attire and appearance and he would carry out The East India Company’s strategy to bring tea cultivation and knowledge to India from China.

Incognito, Fortune extraordinarily managed to smuggle out of China more than 20,000 seedlings and plants.
These Chinese tea plants, Camellia Sinensis, together with a wild variety from in Assam, were planted in Darjeeling in 1841 by Dr Archibald Campbell, who was establishing a hill station for the British stationed in Kolkata. One year later, 2000 plants were growing in 3 experimental gardens. Back came Fortune to review progress and it was found to be the Chinese variant, from similar higher altitudes than the warm, humidity-loving Assamica variety, that was flourishing.

The first commercial tea gardens opened in 1856 and the rest is history.

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