The charm of Darjeeling's first flush tea
Known as the "champagne of teas", Darjeeling first flush tea is a delicious and prized variety of black tea grown in the Darjeeling region of West Bengal, India. Every year, between February and May, Darjeeling estates harvest their most tender new-growth tea leaves to produce the widely coveted first flush tea. Here, as one of the top organic tea manufacturers in Darjeeling, we have outlined everything you want to know about this elite of the elite teas.
What is Darjeeling's First Flush Tea?
Darjeeling first flush refers to the earliest harvest of the growing season. The young leaves and buds are picked, processed, and dried to make a light and delicate tea. More specifically, the first flush is the meticulous picking of the brand new two leaves and a bud during the earliest of the spring. First flush Darjeeling is noted for its fresh, grassy aroma, muscatel flavor, and lively golden liquor.
Where does it come from?
Authentic Darjeeling's first flush comes from 87 tea estates in the Darjeeling region located in the Himalayan foothills. The unique terroir - cool temperatures, high altitudes, sloping hills, and rich soils - impart distinctive taste and aroma qualities exclusive to Darjeeling tea.
When is it Harvested?
The first flush harvest usually occurs between late February through May. The first batches of spring are the most sought-after for their delicate flavor. The prime harvesting time is typically March and April when the leaves are very young and the aroma is intense.
How is it Processed?
First flush processing is meticulous to prevent oxidation and preserve the leaves' natural essence. After plucking, the leaves are rapidly withered, cooled, rolled, and dried. This halts the oxidation and retains the greenish tone of the leaves, creating a very lightly oxidized, greenish-golden tea.
What Does It Taste Like?
Darjeeling first flush teas have light and floral notes with hints of fruit; they are praised for their delightful muscatel character reminiscent of Muscat grapes. The infusion is pale golden yellow. The taste is refreshing, mellow, and slightly astringent with a gentle sweetness.
What are the Benefits?
Like all high-quality teas, First Flush Darjeeling offers many potential health benefits. Since the bushes come after the dormancy of two and half months, it contains significantly more restorative substances such as antioxidants called polyphenols as well as compounds like theanine and fluoride, known to boost immunity, heart health, cognition, and more. It has less caffeine than most black teas.
How to Brew it Best?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to brew a perfect cup of first-flush tea:
Heat water to a temperature of between 185 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit (85 and 90 degrees Celsius).
Place one teaspoon of loose-leaf Darjeeling first flush tea in a teapot or mug.
Pour the hot water over the tea leaves and let steep for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the tea leaves and enjoy your freshly brewed Darjeeling first-flush tea!
Where to Buy Authentic Darjeeling First Flush?
The best places to buy genuine Darjeeling first flush are reputable organic tea manufacturers & suppliers in Kolkata that source directly from India. This is where Avongrove Tea Estate stands out! We source, process, and manufacture our tea directly from our wide estate, located amidst the serenity of chirping birds and the streaming Balason river.
With its sweet, floral aroma and incomparable muscatel flavor, Darjeeling first flush tea is delightful to savor during springtime. Get premium first flush here.