Spring has arrived, an exciting time in the realm of Darjeeling teas! Spring is a time of regrowth, buds blooming, the days getting longer and the suns return In Darjeeling, India and for tea lovers worldwide this time of year is extra special. It is time for the tea bushes who have lain dormant for the winter to come back to life!
First Flush Darjeeling Teas
For tea producers in Darjeeling the months of March to May are important as first harvesting of tea occurs at this time. First Flush tea is tea picked during these months and is extremely sought after because of their peachy, floral, muscatel flavours and complex delicacy. Later pickings of tea harvested in May and early June are referred to as Second Flush teas. Typically a second flush Darjeeling tea has a deeper muskier flavour than those picked during First Flush season.
Darjeeling tea – The champagne of the Himalayas
Everybody knows that champagne must be made with with grapes from the Champagne region of France. Similarly, Darjeeling tea is made with tea leaves from only the Darjeeling region of India. Teas grown in neighbouring regions may havesome similar qualities but Darjeeling tea is the only one known as the “Champagne of the Himalayas”.
Located on the slopes of the Himalaya Mountains in the West Bengal region of Eastern India, Darjeeling’s soaring high altitudes, rich yet slightly acidic soil and clean air create the perfect environment for producing distinct and unparalleled black teas.
Introducing our Darjeeling tea selection
Here is our great selection of Darjeeling teas to explore. Some are first flush, some are second, all are curated by us carefully for your enjoyment. Here you can find more information on each one.
Darjeeling Okayti First Flush Wonder
We are very pleased to have sourced this beautiful tea from the Okayti tea garden. Okayti is one of the oldest estates in Darjeeling. It was founded in the late 19th century and previously called Rangdoo. It’s small silver, olive green and brown leaves were on the bush and carefully handpicked in late March/ early April. This is a first flush Darjeeling tea. Only one bud and two leaves are plucked, you can even see the silvery tips.
Once brewed this tea is smooth, floral and delicate! Slight hints of peach and muscatel peep through with each sip. A real must try for connoisseurs and any one who loves tea!
Darjeeling Steinthal SFTGFOP1
This is an excellent example of a classic Darjeeling tea. From the Steinthal plantation, one of the few Darjeeling tea estates to still grow from exclusively Chinese bushes! These wonderfully worked leaves produce a relatively full bodied brew that has clarity, delicacy and all the muscatel you would expect.
Sungma Tea Estate sprawls over 307-hectares of immaculate landscape nestles in the Rungbong Valley of Darjeeling. Sungma’s tea bushes are planted at high altitudes from 3500ft to 6000ft above sea level. The estate produces exceptional teas and also has the benefit of having a nature reserve within its boundaries.
This particular Darjeeling tea is a tea connoisseurs dream! Picked during the 2nd flush season, only the finest leaves are plucked resulting in a delicate muscatel flavour with a vibrant bright-orange liquor. The result is the perfect cup of tea which is uplifting and refreshing. Fruity notes balanced perfectly with oaky undertones, it will leave you looking forward to your next cup!
Producing high quality teas The Happy Valley tea estate employs around 1500 people. Established in 1854, you can actually visit the estate to see tea being plucked in the months of April to November.
This particular tea is a blend of first and second flush leaves, meaning it has the musk and complexity of a first flush with the body and depth of second flush. The best of both worlds and a joy for any tea drinker!
The Lingia Tea Estate is a small plantation, founded approximately 140 years ago near the Nepalese border and the name itself means “Triangle of the eight mountain tops”. Known for producing high quality tea Lingia cultivates entirely from Chinese camellia sinensis bushes.
This tea is a light, soft flowery tea with naturally rosey notes and a bright clear golden liquor.
The Risheehat tea estate (also spelt Rishihat) is a wonderful tea estate which produces some glorious teas! Risheehat means “ Home of the Holy Sages”
This particular tea is second flush tea, harvested around late May – early June. With darker leaves than most Darjeeling which are highly aromatic with a woody floral bouquet. Being a second flush this is a Darjeeling suited to those who like a slightly fuller bodied cup, the amber liquor is enchanting on the nose and taste buds! With all the fragrant notes we look for in a Darjeeling tea this one also has extra hints of wood, spice and a pronounced astringency which makes it refreshing.
Margaret’s Hope is another second flush Darjeeling which yields an amber coloured infusion. Fully aromatic, spices and a little sweet this tea is a real delight. Margaret’s Hope plantation founded by Mr Bagdon in the early 1930’s and named after his daughter Margaret. Margaret loved the plantation so much that he named it after her when she sadly passed away. To this day they continue to produce beautiful teas.