Darjeeling and Assam are those two well-known regions of India that I come back to time and again for tea. As much as the hearty, malty notes of Assam tea are comforting in the mornings, I find the gentler notes of Darjeeling tea to be much more pleasant in the afternoon.
So, brew up the kettle and pull out the pastries – this is my full review of Ahmad Darjeeling tea, one of my favourites for hosting a mini afternoon tea session!
Find out what flavours to expect, how best to brew Darjeeling, and more about Ahmad Tea London in my full review below.
Ahmad Tea London Darjeeling at a Glance
- Blend: Black tea from a range of estates in Darjeeling, India
- Flavour: Smooth and bright with low astringency and a slightly drying floral note
A pleasant Darjeeling tea with a hint of some of those classic Darjeeling characteristics. This is a good tea for an impromptu afternoon tea party, but you’ll want to break out something better for special occasions.
Full Review – Ahmad Darjeeling Tea Bags
- Type: Tagged paper filter tea bags
- Tea: Black tea
- Origin: Darjeeling, India (various estates)
- Flavour Notes: Smooth, bright, low astringency, slightly drying, floral
- Aroma: Sweet, grassy, floral pollen, brisk, clean
- Milk or Lemon: Lemon, if desired
- Where to Buy: Amazon
Ahmad tea bags are individually wrapped in foil for freshness, so despite this tea sitting in my tea cupboard for quite a long while, it still smells fresh when I open it. The dry tea has a slightly sweet and grassy aroma with high floral notes – together, it reminds me of pollen.
It brews quite quickly so don’t leave this tea unattended! You’ll find a nice honey amber brown colour when it’s at the right strength. The tea is clear and bright, rather than dusty or dirty.
Unfortunately, the tea loses some of that freshness when it is brewed. It still has a clean and bright aroma, but there are no distinct notes. It could be any old generic black tea.
Now the important part. Flavour.
The smooth and brightness hinted at in the aroma translates well into the tea. It’s light and very slightly floral with a drying astringency that grows as you get further down the cup. I’d describe it as refreshing… but it lacks complexity. For special afternoon tea occasions, I recommend you pick a high-quality loose leaf and leave these Ahmad Darjeeling teabags for another day.
How to Brew Darjeeling Black Tea
Ahmad instructions are a bit of the long side for this tea. They recommend 100°C water and a brew time of 3 to 5 minutes. Darjeeling tea is typically light and astringent, so if you wanted to drop the water temperature to 90°C, you would only be improving it.
Brew for 2 minutes, then reassess. Ultimately, I brewed for 3 minutes total.
Adding milk to Darjeeling should be a crime. Any subtle floral hint that comes naturally with the tea would be lost underneath the creaminess. If you wanted to make this tea more refreshing, however, I recommend adding a slice of lemon for a few minutes to add some acidity.
As this tea has that lovely low astringency and drying floral note, it’s perfect for washing down food. Sticky sweet cakes especially.
Why Ahmad Tea London?
This tea is from the Twelve Teas collection which I will be reviewing in its entirety later this year. I do like Ahmad Tea as a brand. While their teas aren’t exceptional quality (let’s be honest, you can’t beat loose whole leaf) they are still a decent step up from most supermarket brands. They also provide a lot more information about where and how their tea is sourced.
Ahmad Darjeeling tea is sourced from various tea estates, so it is a blend rather than a single origin tea. It’s from India’s Mahabharata Mountain Range in the lower Himalayas (which, oddly, Google tells me is in Nepal instead of Darjeeling) where the climate at 2000 metre altitude creates that distinctive flavour.
The final blend is a mix of first flush and second flush Darjeeling, which is why this tea has a substantial smooth body while the floral and astringent notes are subtle. You can actually see the different colours of the tea leaf parts from different flushes if you rip open the teabags.
Yes, you should give this tea a go! It’s a good tea with a pleasant flavour. Just keep in mind that there are some truly fantastic single origin Darjeeling teas out there too. You can find this tea on Ahmad’s official website, or on Amazon. This brand has tea stores worldwide, so anyone can try Ahmad Darjeeling tea!
When we think about classic teas from India, you can’t help but jump straight to chai. Lovely masala chai (spiced tea) is wonderful, especially in the cooler months. Luckily, nearly every mainstream tea brand has their own version. To get you started, read my review of T2 Chai.