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How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling Tea - CookingWithKimberly.comDarjeeling Tea is my absolute favorite type of tea.

This tea hails from the area of West Bengal, India. This is not a native plant to India, and was first cultivated using Chinese tea plant seeds.

It is often considered to be a black tea, as it looks like a black tea when it’s brewed, but it is technically more of an Oolong tea since it doesn’t have complete oxidation as a black tea would. Now, it does have caffeine (who doesn’t love that in the morning?). I tend to brew Darjeeling tea like how I would brew a green tea, with a lower temperature of water and shorter brewing time than Brewing Black Loose Leaf Tea.

Why is it my favorite tea? Well, the flavors are both delicate, complex and at times even on a musky level, sometimes referred to as muscatel, which is one of my favorite flavors of all time.

It is said that this is a tea for true tea connoisseurs, as it is something of a delicacy for an educated palate. People who can distinguish between a “regular black tea” and a Darjeeling definitely know their teas. These teas often tend to be on the more expensive side of loose leaf choices, but it’s well worth it to me, and is a real treat! It is also referred to as the “Champagne of Teas”, and to me, that’s completely correct.

I prefer plain, white sugar in my Darjeeling to sweeten it up, as I don’t want to distract from the flavors using honeys, finishing sugars or milk when drinking this tea straight up.

I often enjoy using Darjeeling for a Darjeeling Chai Recipe, which I put milk and honey in, but that’s a whole other story you can find by clicking the link to the recipe.

Type: Tea Recipe
Serve With: honey, sugar
Prep Time: 1 min
Steep/Brew Time: 2-4 mins; I prefer 2-3 mins
Yield: 8 oz cup (32 oz teapot, if desired)

* The ingredients & instructions are listed below the video for measurements & directions. Please enjoy the video below.


  • Loose leaf Darjeeling tea – 1 tsp/each cup (~ 4 tsp/teapot)
  • 8 oz. water/cup
  • sugar – if desired


  1. Choose a great Darjeeling tea from one of the approved Estates.
  2. Boil your water: Once water is boiled, set your timer for 5 minutes. This should cool the water just enough so as not to” burn”or “scorch” the tea leaves when you add the water.
  3. Add water to Darjeeling tea and steep for 2-4 minutes. If you steep for any longer, you will surely ruin the amazing Darjeeling tea nuances and possibly have a bitter cup of tea. Not good!
  4. After 2-4 minutes, remove tea leaves.
  5. Sweeten, if desired.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy Darjeeling tea as much as I do, and with these instructions, at least you’ll know how to make a kick-ass cup of Darjeeling! 🙂


I hope you enjoy this Indian Food Recipe on Cooking with Kimberly. Until next time…

Eat Deliciously!

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Author: Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is the web-chef behind CookingWithKimberly.com. Food writer, food consultant and general lover of the delicious treats on our planet, Kimberly brings you hearty content, delicious offerings, fun antics, and some down-home cooked love with her mom making cameos. Internet entrepreneur and marketer, International model, and Editor-in-Chief of a number of online publications. Be a Champion in Your Kitchen & Eat Deliciously!

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