Darjeeling Tumsong Supreme 'First Picking', First Flush Garden Darjeeling

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  • “I made a brew of this about a month ago and was a little disappointed, having previously been entranced by the same garden’s second flush Moonlight Delight. I’ve had another go today, and still...” Read full tasting note

From Imperial Teas of Lincoln

An organic garden situated in the Golden Top Valley producing excellent teas. Exceptionally complex flavour reminding one of blackcurrant bushes and muscatel wine, complemented by the beautiful hand twisted leaf. The definitive Darjeeling at only pennies a cup. Tumsong Tea Estate is located in the Darjeeling East, or Golden Valley of Darjeeling at an altitude ranging from 915 to 1980 m. It has a planted area of 150 hectares and produces 65,000 kgs of tea. This estate overlooks the mighty Kanchenjunga. The direct cold breeze makes all the difference to enhance the delicate flavor of its exotic teas, which are 99% pure China leaf. The name Tumsong is derived from the Hindu goddess “Tamsa Devi” who is worshipped by the local population in a temple which is situated on the garden. The garden was planted around the temple, on one mountain slope, in the year 1867. Jaideep Gangully manages the garden.

Quantity: 1g per 100ml of water
Water Temperature: 95-100 ° c
Brewing time: 2 mins
No of infusions: 1-2
Milk: No

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1 Tasting Note

81 tasting notes

I made a brew of this about a month ago and was a little disappointed, having previously been entranced by the same garden’s second flush Moonlight Delight. I’ve had another go today, and still found it disappointing. However, I’m not rating it yet as I suspect that, as so often with me and Darjeelings, I’ve yet to properly get to grips with brewing it. Anyway, here’s a write-up of my two sets of notes.


I brewed a mug with a heaped teaspoonful brewed for two minutes, boiling water.

In the mug it was a clear, light-orange brew with a faint, clean smell, somewhere between eau-de-cologne and cut grass.

In the mouth there’s a lingering smoothness, difficult to define, perhaps like a very, very mild butter. I get good basic tea with hints of cut grass and, perhaps, vanilla. Oddly, the vanilla and basic tea seem to fade as the level in the cup lowers and the tea cools.

It’s only the first mug, and I’ve previously found Darjeelings quite variable, but this doesn’t strike me as anything like as good as the second flush, Tumsong’s ‘Moonlight Delight’.

It says you can make one or two infusions, so I tried a second one, made the same way.

To my surprise, I’m tasting this as a fraction stronger. In the nose and mouth I’m not really getting the eau-de-cologne and vanilla elements now, but in both I’m getting a hint of the smell of fresh, sweet hay. Having said I thought it a fraction stronger, this time I don’t seem to be getting the flavour ‘fading’ as the level in the cup is falling.


I brewed a mug with a well-heaped teaspoonful brewed for two and a half mintues, boiling water.

In the mug i’s a clear, pale yellow-orange; but I really can’t make anything much of the smell. I’m not getting it as the description in the last note.

In the mouth it’s quite bland: there are tiny hints of basic tea (perhaps just a fraction stale), nettles, toffee and something like the smell of ripped-up cardboard – but I do mean ‘tiny’, in each case. On that thing of the flavour fading, as it cools and the level falls I seem to have lost the hints of nettles and butter. This is disappointing, even compared to the last note.

I made a second infusion, exactly the same way.

The brew looks just the same as the first, but, this time, I’m getting a fruity smell – possibly a faint smell of packet, dried, mixed fruit.

I’m getting quite fleeting flavours in the mouth. I picked the mug up and took a sip and got the mixed, dried fruit with an immediate aftertaste of toffee; and a second sip gave ‘smell of nettles’ and grass – rather different to the first. Then I put the mug down and thought about it for a few moments, thinking what to write, picked it up for another sip before writing, and got different again; this time the sweetness had gone and I got quite a firm element – like the smell of grass or green vegetation, but without any sweetness to it.

These are all quite faint elements, though. I don’t think the experiment of two and a half minutes instead of the recommended two has made any noticeable improvement – perhaps I should try two teaspoonfuls?

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