Tea2You’s Ratan Mondal – ‘The Darjeeling of Tea’

Tea was first introduced in Darjeeling in 1841 with stolen seeds from China and since then it’s flourished to become the first Indian product to receive the PGI tag (Protected Geographical Indications of Goods). There are 87 tea gardens spread over 19,000 hectares growing black, green, white and oolong teas around Darjeeling in the Himalayas.

Tea tasting at<br /> Tea 2 You

At a tea tasting organised by Dialogue Agency, Ravi Shankar was playing in the background and we were greeted with those lovely sweet, dank aromas of wet tea leaves, and cascading waterfalls and lush green hills on the boardroom screens.

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Ratan Mondal of Tea 2 You

And so to meet tea powerhouse Ratan Mondal of Tea2you.com. The Calcuttan-born former tea room owner who won a full scholarship to study in Britain spotted a gap for high quality tea and set up Tea2You. Ratan sells 100% Darjeeling teas online and from his stall at foodie heaven, Borough Market London.

‘First flush’ teas, harvested in mid March after the Spring rains, are black teas prized for their bright colour and gentle aroma. This year Ratan tasted 140 teas from Darjeeling’s first flush crop before making his decision to buy.

Darjeeling TeaYou have to be up early to get the best white tea with a harvest window of only five to seven in the morning. The price tag of £12.99 for 50 grams is not as expensive as it sounds when you realise that you only need one gram per one cup – and this very low caffeine, antioxidant ‘Lord of the Leaves’ tea you can keep for six hours infusing up to four more cups from the same leaves.

Some other tips we picked up for tea – milk only if it’s a strong tannin tea, don’t use a strainer for first flush teas, boiling water spoils the leaf and, with tea leaves, less is more.

The paper bags are cute with little clay tags to remind us of the sun-baked mud cups in which chai is often served along the railways of India. Putting something back – Ratan will be presenting the prizes at St Mary’s School in Singla which he helps fund from sales at Tea2You.

Using the tea taster’s mantra of appearance, aroma, flavour and mouth feel these Darjeelings are exquisite.

Charles and Camilla at Tea 2 You Borough Market with Ratan Mondal

A Cuppa Fit for Royal-tea

Read more about India here: Recipes from The Grand Trunk Road, Incredible India’s Find What You Seek advertising campaign and fashion designer Matthew Williamson’s Hand to Earth exhibition.

Trackbacks

  1. […] MORE ABOUT DARJEELING TEAS HERE and ORGANIC TEAS FROM A GOOD […]

  2. […] Read More about Vanessa Hudgen’s surprise meal at Chak89, our breakfast with Megastar Chiranjeevi, Recipes from the Grand Trunk Road withHardeep Singh Kohli and Darjeeling Tea with Ratan Mondal. […]

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