Originally the word Muscatel Tea was used to describe a special type of Wine which have pronounced sweet floral aroma. So when black tea is known to be generally bitter how do we have Muscatel taste in Tea? Most of the tea is made in the plains where there is vigorous growth. The shoots grow rapidly and the development of special flavors and aroma does not take place. The growth is also rapid and plucking of extra ordinary good leaf like two leaf and a bud is also not possible.
Things are different in the mountains where the growth is slow because of low temperatures; cool and cold climates. The temperatures in the plains in North India could touch 32 to 35 degrees centigrade. Temperature in the Gopaldhara during summer are in the range between 15 to 25 degrees centigrade. The sun shine period is also less in Gopaldhara. almost half in comparison to the plains. Because of all these factors the growth is checked.
Once the growth is checked we are able to pluck very fine two leaf and a bud and sometimes even single leaf and a bud. The quantity of leaf is also very less in the factory so special and careful precise processing of the tea is also possible. In the Factory once we get fine leaf comprising of large quantities of buds which later are called tips then we start the process of a making fine quality Muscatel teas. The teas especially in the summer season once withered are rolled and oxidized multiple times to develop special flavors. The teas are mostly sweet and very smooth and some of the have special finish of honey, or citrus and caramel sweet.
The flavors are sometimes prominent and the tea is rich and thick and you feel it all over your mouth and then the aroma consumes you and you realize you are having something really rare and special.
It is when you get a feeling like this you know you are having a truly amazing Muscatel Darjeeling Tea. Gopaldhara make a lot of Muscatel teas which are honey sweet from its AV2 clones. Since it is one of the highest elevated gardens in Darjeeling the flavor intensity are also very high.