What are First Flush Darjeeling Teas?

Darjeeling First Flush Tea

Darjeeling tea is the “champagne of all teas”. Nowhere will you experience the same flavor and aura as tea from Darjeeling tea gardens. Correct altitude, soil, weather, climate, and hard work of workers in these gardens have spiraled Darjeeling teas into the world heights. The most distinctive feature of the teas is their flavor, which is always varied due to distinctive change in seasons. Though the yearly climate is moderate, but Darjeeling has well defined seasons.

Darjeeling Tea flush’s refer to the different tea growing periods in a year. Each flush produces Darjeeling Tea that has very unique characteristics and is peculiar to that particular flush (season).

Grown in the high-altitude region of northeastern India, the first flush Darjeeling tea has its unique flavor. First Flush Darjeeling Tea harvesting takes place mid-March, directly after the spring rains. Tea has a greenish hue and sometimes resembles oolong tea but technically it is not oolong tea as the ones produced by China and Taiwan. This tea has light color, amazing aroma, light taste, has floral or earthy flavor, and has mild astringent quality.

After a period of lull in the winter months (from November to end of February), spring season brings along bright green and delicate shoots, almost emanating a glazed appearance. The spring time tea has young leaves and the tea made from first flush harvest has light green hue. This light color tea is clear, has brisk flavor, and the liquor looks bright. The leaves have floral scent, with a lively character.

Each Darjeeling tea garden produces their own flavor of first flush Darjeeling tea – a fact every garden owner vehemently supports. Though situated in Darjeeling itself, the location of tea gardens differs in height, altitude, and soil. Due to this, the brand of Darjeeling tea first flush teas differs in all respect among different tea gardens.

Due to this reason, the first flush Darjeeling teas are differently priced. In the first flush harvesting season, tea connoisseurs are called upon to taste the aroma and flavor of the first tea produce. Value of the first flush tea is defined upon 3 characteristics:

  • Flavor and aroma
  • Quality of produce
  • Gradation*

Generally, tea produced in first flush can be consumed anytime of the day. First Flush Darjeeling is a prized wait by most tea connoisseurs who cannot wait to lay their hands on it. A true Darjeeling Tea lover connoisseur cannot imagine his tea collection without good first flush teas!

*Gradation is the aspect of differentiating the tea according to their shape/size

2 thoughts on “What are First Flush Darjeeling Teas?

  1. Pingback: Year end review of 2010 Darjeeling Tea Industry | DarjeelingTeaXpress

  2. Pingback: Darjeeling First Flush Season delayed – Weather Gods at Foul !

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