Loose-leaf Darjeeling Makaibari from The Tea Lab

Loose-leaf tea with irregular, crinkly leaves, colors ranging from pale green through orange and olive to dark brown or blackView Full Resolution

This loose-leaf tea from Makaibari estate shows leaves with a mix of colors, a common pheonmenon among Darjeeling teas. The different colors reflect different levels of oxidation, which in some cases is a sign of mixing teas from different flushes (First flush tends to be markedly lighter than other flushes, monsoon or rains teas tend to be the darkest), but can also result from pluckings that include leaves of different sizes.

The buds and younger leaves are thinner, and dry out quicker, stopping the oxidation process. Larger, more mature leaves retain moisture longer and thus oxidize more fully.

The range of oxidation adds a type of aromatic complexity to this tea that is not generally present in most black teas.

This image is featured in our article on Darjeeling Black Tea.

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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

Joined Sep. 1st, 2009.

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