This tea was a light black. It was also very slightly sweet reminiscent of an Oolong yet with the distinctive Darjeeling taste. There was also a slight metallic taste. I was surprised that I liked the second flush more. There weren’t as many things to note in this tea.
Darjeeling 1st Flush
Darjeeling is one of the most famous tea growing regions in the world. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northeastern India, Darjeeling produces exquisite teas unlike any other region. Often referred to as the "champagne of tea,” Darjeeling perfectly illustrates the parallels between wine and tea. The distinctive flavor and aroma of Darjeeling tea cannot be reproduced anywhere else in the world, as its unique character is fully dependent on several factors: microclimate, harvest season, soil, elevation, tea bush variety and the particular processing style and partial fermentation method developed in Darjeeling.
The first crop harvest of the year, known as the “first flush,” commands the highest price of all Darjeeling teas. Known for its light fermentation, brisk character, greenish leaf and complex aroma, the first flush is reminiscent of semi-fermented oolong tea.
Most veteran tea tasters agree that 1st Flush Darjeeling tops their list of favorite tea. Tea lovers covet the first flush each year, and the best is often pre-sold before the season to buyers in Germany and Japan. The best quality 1st Flush Darjeeling is rarely, if ever, tasted by American tea drinkers.
Rishi Tea’s lead buyer has a special relationship with the fair trade and organic tea guru of Darjeeling, Mr. Rajah Banerjee of the Makaibari Tea Estate. Each year, Rajah offers some of his best teas to us before they are sold out to Japan and Germany.
Our 2008 1st Flush Darjeeling is a truly elegant cup. Its complex yet balanced character is the perfect introduction to the distinctive aroma and flavor profile that is Darjeeling. The profound fruity and floral aromas lead to a distinctive Muscat grape flavor and brisk mouth feel. The long lasting finish is fruity and floral without any herbaceous or grassy notes so often found in common grades of Darjeeling. This tea has great energy that is both refreshing and energizing.
This is one of our taster’s favorites, and we think it is destined to become one of your favorite teas as well. This limited batch was produced on March 27, 2008.
Prepare in a porcelain teapot and enjoy this bright and lively infusion in a white cup.