Darjeeling First Flush 2020
Darjeeling is located in the North East of India, on the border between China, Nepal and Bhutan. The tea is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and it is the geography of the land which leads to the unique quality of the Darjeeling First Flush. In early spring, the intense sunshine in the cold, crystalline Himalayan air, called the ‘Darjeeling Mist’ causes the dormant tea bushes to burst into life with their first tender shoots. These are then picked and processed to give a nuanced, flavourful tea, which is very light in the cup, allowing for it to be enjoyed without any milk or sweeteners.
There are several different tea estates throughout the region, growing thousands of kilos of tea at various heights and with differing soil, climate, and crop husbandry practices. Our teas are picked from the Namring Upper Estate in Darjeeling, from a section of the tea gardens between 3500 and 4000 ft. above sea level. Teas grown in higher elevations tend to be rarer as the tea bushes have a lower yield – the tea leaves bloom more slowly, allowing for more flavour to develop in the buds and leaves than lower grown teas.
The Picking Process.
Over the last few weeks, Tea Master, Lalith Lenadora, has been waking up at 4am to work closely with the estate to adapt the picking to drying process. This year he advised delaying picking to allow the tea’s beauty to truly blossom, to ensure the full flavor of Darjeeling First Flush is delivered. More so, rather than picking one bud and two varieties as with most Darjeeling First Flush varieties, Tea Master, Lalith Lenadora, advised picking a single succulent leaf and bud. This innovation helps ensure that the Darjeeling First Flush brews a beautifully bright golden cup with a tantalising sweet aroma of ripe fruits, abundant fresh flavour and a hint of earthy notes