Darjeeling First Flush
Tea Crop 2021 – Part Three
As this year’s precious harvest arrives on British shores,
our Tea Expert shares his exclusive tasting notes ahead of the tea’s impending sale to the public
Following our last blog post revealing how Darjeeling First Flush is plucked and processed, we are delighted to confirm that this year’s crop has now landed, having made its long journey from a lofty high-elevation field in the First Division of the Puttabong Estate, north-east India, all the way to the UK. Once grown, trained tea pickers carefully plucked First Flush leaves by hand – gathering only the succulent bud and first leaf of the plant, characterised by a wiry, light green appearance and silvery tips – before the fresh tea was expertly processed and packaged, ready to drink.
As The East India Company’s Tea Expert – responsible for overseeing each and every one of our exotic tea varieties – Lalith Lenadora was one of the first to sample the tea and share his thoughts. “I have now had the privilege to taste fresh Darjeeling First Flush 2021,” he says. “When properly brewed, the infused liquor has a bright, light gold colour in the cup. In regard to taste, the tea has a touch of floral flavour as well as a subtle fruity note, complete with a pleasingly gentle sweetness. It leaves a clean finish. Although this tea is commercially marketed as a ‘black tea’, it has gone through the lowest possible fermentation process to categorise it as one,” Lenadora adds. “This is in order to preserve the tea’s inherent Darjeeling character.”
To experience Darjeeling First Flush at its best, he recommends brewing two and a half teaspoons’ worth in 210ml of water at 80 degrees Celsius, for a period of four minutes. Then comes the tasting. Ensure you have a clean palate beforehand – a tea this rare should be savoured in full – and wait for the tea to cool from the infusion process. As a rule, if the cup is too hot to hold, it will be too hot to drink, as your fingertips and lips share similar levels of pain reception. Once ready, inhale the tea’s delicate aromas through the nose from the bowl of the teacup to saturate your lungs. Then, take a first sip of the liquor using just the tip of your tongue to experience the tea’s unique sweetness. For your second sip, gently roll the tea across your tongue, allowing flavours to come alive across your taste buds whilst savouring the tea’s unique mouth feel.
It won’t be long until this year’s crop is ready to purchase and enjoy at home. Click here to place a pre-order of Darjeeling First Flush 2021 Tea.