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How to Make Darjeeling White Tea – Hot, Iced, Cold Brew!

*Strolling through a tranquil tea garden, where the air is filled with a delicate fragrance.*

Here, a unique tea is crafted from the youngest and softest leaves of the tea plant.

They’re so fresh that they’re covered in a downy fuzz.

When these tender leaves are brewed, something magical happens.

The result is White Darjeeling, a tea that has the sophistication of white tea and the looks of black tea (kind of)!

Now, you might expect this tea to be as pale as a winter morning, but no!

Despite its name, White Darjeeling surprises us with a hue that’s richer than expected.

This cup of tea is a story of contrasts – the pale leaves turning into a liquid that’s surprisingly deep in color, a delicate aroma leading to a robust flavor.

The story of White Darjeeling is a reminder that appearances can be deceiving, that beauty and strength can coexist. But but but..

You are not here just for stories, right? Let’s get to the point!

I’m going to talk about White Darjeeling tea in this post (though I’ve already started), brewing method, brewing guide, iced and hot Darjeeling white tea recipes, tea pairings and much much more!

What Is Darjeeling White Tea?

Darjeeling white tea is a kind of white tea that comes from the Darjeeling region in India.

It’s different from regular tea because it’s made from young tea leaves and buds that are minimally processed (just like white tea).

These leaves are plucked early in the spring, which makes them really fresh.

The tea leaves are carefully picked and then just dried in the sun or indoors.

This gentle process keeps the leaves very close to their natural state.

That’s why it’s called “white” tea, because the leaves stay mostly white or light green.

When you brew this tea, it has a delicate and light flavor. Some people say it tastes a bit floral or sweet.

It doesn’t have a strong, bold taste like black tea. It’s more like a subtle and refreshing drink.

Darjeeling white tea
Darjeeling white tea

What You Need to Make Darjeeling White Tea

Making Darjeeling White Tea is a simple and enjoyable process. To get started, you’ll need a few things:

Darjeeling White Tea Leaves

Choose good quality Darjeeling white tea leaves.

Look for leaves that are light in color and have fine, silvery hairs. This ensures a delicate flavor and aroma.

Fresh Water

Use fresh, cold water for brewing. Avoid using water that has been sitting for too long, as it might affect the taste of your tea.

Teapot or Infuser

You’ll need a teapot or a tea infuser to steep the tea leaves.

If you’re using a teapot, make sure it has enough space for the leaves to unfurl and release their flavors.


A kettle to boil water.

You can use an electric kettle or a stovetop kettle – whichever you have on hand.


A simple timer is handy to make sure you steep the tea for the right amount of time.

This helps avoid over-steeping, which can make the tea bitter.


Choose your favorite teacups to enjoy the freshly brewed Darjeeling white tea.

Using thin, porcelain cups can enhance the experience.

flavor enhancements for oolong tea

How to Make Darjeeling White Tea

Here’s your step-by-step guide to make white Darjeeling tea:

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

To make a delicious cup of Darjeeling white tea, you’ll need a few essential ingredients: high-quality Darjeeling white tea leaves, fresh cold water, and optional additions like honey or lemon.

Ensure that you have these items ready before you begin the brewing process.

Step 2: Choose Your Darjeeling White Tea Leaves

When selecting your Darjeeling white tea leaves, you have several options, such as first flush or second flush.

First flush tea is harvested in the spring and is known for its delicate and floral flavor, while second flush tea, harvested in the summer, tends to be more robust and full-bodied.

Consider your taste preferences to decide which type of Darjeeling white tea you’d like to brew.

Step 3: Measure the Tea Leaves

Measure out the desired amount of Darjeeling white tea leaves.

A good rule of thumb is to use about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of tea leaves per cup of water.

I would suggest to use more volume of this tea as you normally would to have a perfect cup.

Adjust the quantity based on your personal taste preference and the strength you desire in your tea.

Step 4: Heat the Water

Use fresh cold water to ensure the best flavor.

Heat the water to around 175°F (80°C).

Water that is too hot can scorch the delicate white tea leaves and result in a bitter taste, so it’s essential not to use boiling water.

Step 5: Preheat Your Teapot or Teacup

Pour a small amount of hot water into your teapot or teacup to preheat it. Swirl the water around and then discard it.

This step helps maintain the optimal temperature for brewing and enhances the flavor extraction from the tea leaves.

Step 6: Add the Tea Leaves

Place the measured Darjeeling white tea leaves into your preheated teapot or teacup.

Step 7: Pour the Water

Carefully pour the heated water over the tea leaves.

Make sure the water covers the leaves completely. Now, let the tea steep.

Step 8: Steep the Tea

Allow the tea leaves to steep for about 2 to 4 minutes.

Keep an eye on the color of the tea as it brews; Darjeeling white tea has a pale and light appearance when properly steeped.

Step 9: Taste Test

After the steeping time is up, use a small spoon to taste the tea.

If it’s not as strong as you’d like, you can let it steep for another minute or so.

Remember that white tea is delicate, so don’t overdo the steeping time to avoid bitterness.

Step 10: Optional Additions

If desired, you can enhance the flavor of your Darjeeling white tea with a drizzle of honey or a squeeze of lemon.

These additions can complement the tea’s natural characteristics and create a delightful flavor profile.

You are welcome to enjoy your White Darjeeling tea now!

Darjeeling White Tea Hot or Cold?

When it comes to Darjeeling White Tea, both hot and cold options have their merits.

But it really depends on your personal preference and the situation. Let me break it down for you:

Hot Darjeeling White Tea

If you’re looking for a soothing and comforting experience, hot

Darjeeling White Tea might be the way to go. When brewed hot, the delicate leaves release a subtle yet complex array of flavors.

You’ll likely notice floral and fruity notes with a hint of sweetness.

The warmth of the tea can be really comforting, especially on chilly days.

Cold Darjeeling White Tea

On the other hand, if you’re seeking a refreshing and revitalizing drink, cold Darjeeling White Tea could be your choice.

When chilled, the flavors transform slightly, becoming more crisp and invigorating.

The floral and fruity undertones remain, but they’re accompanied by a light, brisk sensation.

Cold white tea is perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day!

iced darjeeling white tea with other types of iced tea
iced darjeeling white tea with other types of iced tea

How to Make Darjeeling White Iced Tea

You can make Darjeeling White Iced Tea in super refreshing and easy way. Here’s how you can do it:


  • 2 tablespoons Darjeeling white tea leaves
  • 4 cups (about 1 liter) of cold water
  • Optional: sweetener (sugar, honey, or syrup)
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slices or mint leaves for garnish


Cold Brew Option: If you have time, you can go for a cold brew. Combine the tea leaves and cold water in a pitcher or jar.

Cover and refrigerate for 4-8 hours, or overnight.

This method is great because it slowly extracts the flavors and reduces bitterness.

Quick Brew Option: Don’t worry if you’re short on time. You can make it quickly too.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Let it cool for a minute or two.

Then, pour it over the tea leaves in a heatproof container. Let it steep for about 5-7 minutes.

Strain: After steeping, strain the tea leaves out.

If you’re doing the cold brew method, the tea should already be filtered.

Sweeten It Up: If you like your tea sweet, now is the time to add your preferred sweetener.

Stir it in until it dissolves. Start with 1-2 teaspoons and adjust according to taste.

Cooling Down: Let the brewed tea cool down a bit.

You can let it sit at room temperature or pop it in the fridge to speed things up.

Icing: Once the tea is cooled, fill glasses with ice cubes. Pour the brewed tea over the ice.

Garnish: To add a zesty touch, drop in some lemon slices or a few mint leaves. They make the tea even more refreshing.

iced lavender tea with mint
iced darjeeling white tea

Now, about the difference between iced tea and cold brew:

Iced Tea

This is made by brewing tea with hot water and then cooling it down by adding ice.

It’s a quicker method and can sometimes result in a slightly bitter taste if not brewed carefully.

That’s why using good quality tea and not over-steeping is important.

Cold Brew

Cold brew involves steeping tea leaves in cold water over a longer period of time.

It’s a gentler process that brings out the flavors while reducing bitterness.

It’s great for those who prefer a smoother, less astringent taste.

The downside is it takes more time.

Both methods have their own charms. If you’re in a hurry, go for the traditional iced tea method.

But if you’re looking for a more mellow and delicate flavor, give cold brew a try. It’s all about your preference!

Brewing Guide for Hot and Iced Darjeeling White Tea

Brewing MethodWater TemperatureBrewing Time
Hot Darjeeling White175-185°F (80-85°C)3-4 minutes
Cold Darjeeling WhiteCold Water6-8 hours

For hot Darjeeling White tea, use water between 175-185°F (80-85°C) and steep the tea for 3-4 minutes.

For cold brew, use cold water and steep the tea in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. Adjust the steeping time based on your desired strength.

Factors That Affect the Flavor of White Darjeeling Tea

When it comes to choosing a delicious cup of White Darjeeling tea, there are a few important factors that can affect its flavor.

Let me break it down for you.

Harvest Time

The time when the tea leaves are plucked can make a big difference.

Early spring leaves tend to have a delicate and light flavor, while leaves picked later in the season might have a slightly stronger taste.


The altitude at which the tea is grown matters.

Darjeeling’s high altitude gardens create a unique environment that influences the flavor.

Higher elevations can lead to a sweeter and more nuanced taste.


The way the tea leaves are processed plays a big role.

White Darjeeling tea is minimally processed, allowing the leaves to retain their natural flavors.

This can result in a light, floral, and slightly fruity taste.

Leaf Tips

Look for teas with more tips or buds.

These tender parts of the tea plant often contribute to a sweeter and milder flavor profile.


Just like wine, where the tea is grown impacts its flavor.

Soil, weather, and other environmental factors of the region influence the taste of the tea.

Plucking Standard

The way the leaves are plucked matters.

Finely plucked leaves, often with a bud, can create a smoother and more delicate flavor.

Brewing Time and Temperature

The way you brew your tea matters too.

Using water that’s not too hot and allowing the tea to steep for the right amount of time can help bring out the best flavors.


Proper storage is essential to maintaining the tea’s flavor.

Keep it away from strong odors and moisture to preserve its delicate taste.

So, when choosing your White Darjeeling tea, consider these factors to find the flavor that suits your taste buds the best.

ingredients to make butterfly pea flower tea taste good
sweeteners to make darjeeling white tea taste good

How to Make Tea White Darjeeling Tea Taste Good

White Darjeeling tea is lovely as it is, but if you’re looking to enhance its flavor, here are some easy ways to do it.

Time & Water Temperature: To bring out the best flavors, make sure to steep your white Darjeeling tea for about 2-3 minutes.

Use water that’s not boiling hot, around 175°F (80°C) is perfect.

Honey or Sugar: Adding a little natural sweetness can enhance the taste.

Try a teaspoon of honey or sugar to balance the delicate flavors.

Lemon Zest: A small twist of lemon zest can add a refreshing zing to your tea. It complements the lightness of white Darjeeling quite well.

Mint Leaves: If you enjoy a hint of freshness, drop a couple of mint leaves into your cup while steeping.

It’s especially wonderful on warm days.

Fruits: Slices of apple, peach, or pear can lend a fruity twist to your tea.

Let them steep along with the tea leaves for a few minutes.

Ginger: A slice of fresh ginger or a pinch of dried ginger can add a pleasant warmth to your cup.

Jasmine Blossoms: For a floral touch, you can blend white Darjeeling with a few jasmine blossoms.

It creates a fragrant and soothing infusion.

Coconut Milk: If you’re feeling adventurous, a splash of coconut milk can add a creamy and tropical dimension to your tea.

Iced Variation: On hot days, let your brewed tea cool down and pour it over ice.

Add a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint for a cooling treat.

Sparkling Tea: Mix your brewed tea with sparkling water for a fizzy and refreshing beverage.

Add a drop of honey or a splash of fruit juice for extra flavor.

Dim sum

White Darjeeling Tea Food Pairing – The Asian Way!

We have successfully made a c delicate brew of Darjeeling White tea.

Now, let’s choose some food pairings for White Darjeeling Tea, especially considering how Asians enjoy it!

Dim Sum

A light and fragrant cup of White Darjeeling tea pairs wonderfully with dim sum.

The delicate flavors of the tea complement the variety of dumplings and steamed buns.

Try it with shrimp dumplings (har gow) or pork buns (char siu bao) for a delightful experience.

Rice Noodle

For a light meal, try pairing White Darjeeling tea with rice noodle dishes like pho or pad Thai.

The tea’s gentle character balances the savory flavors of the noodles and broth, creating a satisfying and refreshing combination.

sushi for darjeeling white tea


Sushi and White Darjeeling tea create a harmonious balance of flavors.

The tea’s gentle notes complement the fresh taste of sushi, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Enjoy it with sashimi or maki rolls to appreciate the contrast.

Sublime Sweets

White Darjeeling tea’s subtle sweetness pairs beautifully with Asian desserts. Indulge in treats like mochi, red bean paste buns, or delicate rice cakes.

The tea’s lightness won’t overpower these sweets, allowing their unique flavors to shine.

Light Curries and Stir-Fries

When enjoying Asian curries or stir-fries, reach for White Darjeeling tea.

Its delicate taste won’t overpower the spices but will cleanse your palate between bites.

It’s a great match for dishes with lighter flavors like Thai green curry or ginger chicken stir-fry.

fresh fruit
fresh fruit

Fresh Fruit

Asians love to pair White Darjeeling tea with a medley of fresh fruits.

The tea’s floral notes complement the natural sweetness of fruits like lychee, mango, and papaya.

Sip the tea while enjoying the juicy, vibrant flavors of the fruits.

When to Drink Darjeeling White Tea

Unable to fit white Darjeeling tea in your routine?

Here’s how you can do it!

  1. Morning

Start your day on a refreshing note with a cup of Darjeeling White Tea.

Its delicate flavor and light caffeine content can give you a gentle energy boost without overwhelming your system.

  1. Afternoon Serenity

Feeling a bit drained in the afternoon? Brew yourself a cup of Darjeeling White Tea.

Its subtle taste and lower caffeine levels make it a perfect choice to stay alert without disrupting your sleep later.

Enjoy it with a light snack for a peaceful break.

  1. Unwind and Relax

As the day winds down, consider sipping on Darjeeling White Tea to unwind.

Its soothing aroma and mild flavors can help you relax after a long day. It’s a great alternative to heavier beverages in the evening.

  1. Tea Time Treat

Hosting a tea gathering? Darjeeling White Tea can be an excellent choice for a sophisticated and unique tea experience.

Its refined taste and pale liquor will impress your guests and create a memorable tea-drinking moment.

  1. Before Bed Bliss

If you’re sensitive to caffeine but still crave a warm drink before bed, Darjeeling White Tea could be your answer.

It contains less caffeine compared to other teas, making it a gentler option for evening relaxation.

  1. Personal Preference

Remember, the best time to drink Darjeeling White Tea ultimately depends on your personal preference and how your body reacts to caffeine.

If you find that even a little caffeine affects your sleep, it might be best to enjoy this tea earlier in the day.


Darjeeling White Tea Recipe

Recipe by Tania FaysalCourse: DrinksCuisine: Chinese, Indian


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



A perfectly steeped cup of Darjeeling White Tea - an indulgence for two.


  • Darjeeling white tea leaves - 2 teaspoons

  • Filtered water - 2 cups

  • Optional: Honey or sugar - to taste


  • Gather your tea and water: Get your Darjeeling white tea leaves and filtered water ready.
  • Heat the water: Bring your water to a temperature of 175-185°F (79-85°C). It's important not to boil the water as it could scorch the delicate tea leaves and impact the flavor.
  • Add the tea leaves: Once your water is at the right temperature, place your tea leaves into a teapot or tea infuser.
  • Pour the heated water: Gently pour the heated water over the tea leaves, allowing them to unfurl naturally.
  • Steep the tea: Let the tea steep for about 5-7 minutes, depending on how strong you prefer your tea.
  • Strain the tea: After steeping, strain the tea into teacups to remove the tea leaves.
  • Add sweeteners, if desired: If you wish, you can add honey or sugar to taste. However, Darjeeling white tea is often enjoyed plain to fully appreciate its delicate flavors.

Recipe Video

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does Darjeeling White tea taste like?

Darjeeling White tea offers a delicate and subtle flavor profile. It often has floral and fruity notes, with hints of honey and a mild sweetness.

The taste can vary slightly depending on the specific tea estate and processing methods.

Yes, Darjeeling White tea does contain caffeine. However, the caffeine content is relatively higher than Silver Needle white tea which has the least amount of caffeine.

Yes, Darjeeling White tea is indeed a real type of tea. It is produced from the young leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant, just like other tea varieties such as black, green, and oolong.

Generally, plain brewed Darjeeling White tea has very few calories, approximately 2-5 calories per 8-ounce cup.

The exact calorie count may vary slightly based on factors such as the amount of tea leaves used and brewing time. 

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