On a search to find the best Darjeeling tea for The Savoy’s Afternoon Tea experience, JING and The Savoy journeyed to the misty foothills of the Himalayas to the breathtaking region of Darjeeling earlier this year.
Located in West Bengal, India, Darjeeling is an incredibly unique and beautiful part of the world. A harmonious combination of climate, terroir and craftsmanship come together to produce teas with a distinctive flavour profile and inherent quality that cannot be replicated anywhere else.
As there are only eighty-seven tea gardens in Darjeeling that qualify for the Geographical Origin status (which preserves and protects the origin of the region’s tea leaves), the tea is incredibly sought after.
Also championing exceptional provenance, The Savoy offer their guests the highest quality teas from all over the world, each with their own unique history and flavour composition.
Visiting The Gardens
To find a shortlist of teas exclusively for their new Afternoon Tea menu, JING took the Savoy’s Thames Foyer Assistant Manager, Thomas Wickens, on an origin immersion journey through Darjeeling’s foremost gardens.
After many tastings and learning about the different ways each tea is crafted, the final teas were selected from single gardens – each definitive examples of three distinctive styles of Darjeeling tea and all varying in flavour.
Organic Darjeeling First Flush 2019 Competition Winner from Seeyok Estate
Unanimously chosen as the best Darjeeling First Flush tea for 2019 and the winner of the JING Excellence at Origin Competition, this organic grade of first flush encapsulates the very best characteristics Darjeeling has to offer – complex and bright flavoured with fresh spring flowers.
Darjeeling Second Flush Moonlight from Margaret’s Hope Garden
A recent innovation from the hills of Darjeeling, this Moonlight tea has been cultivated to accentuate its floral notes and syrupy sweetness, with a smooth rounded body. Energising and intriguing, this is a new taste experience for most.
Darjeeling Second Flush Muscatel from Castleton Garden
A classic example of Darjeeling Second Flush, this tea is warming and comforting with dried fruit notes that are masterfully extracted during the firing of the leaves. After being tasted at origin, this tea was immediately secured for The Savoy.
The tea pairs perfectly with each afternoon tea course: The First Flush with the savouries; the Second Flush Moonlight with the scones and the Second Flush Muscatel with the sweet pastries.
For the menu, Thomas Wickens and the JING team worked closely with Executive Pastry Chef, Daniel Pearse and his team to ensure that each cup of tea is as integral to the afternoon tea experience as the food offering, accenting and drawing out the subtleties of each delicate sandwich, signature cake and imaginative pastry. Every cup is made at the optimum temperature with the exact infusion time to ensure a perfectly balanced cup.
Thomas commented, ‘We are extremely excited to have launched this partnership with JING. It marks the beginning of our new Afternoon Tea concept, and truly solidifies The Savoy as serving the best teas in London’.