Darjeeling is a town and tea-growing region in India’s West Bengal state. It has 87 tea gardens, some of which are set at high altitudes with views of the Kanchenjunga mountain range. The area is renowned for producing excellent teas, including white tea, oolong, and world renowned first and second flush teas.
The most coveted Darjeeling teas are the premium quality first and second flush teas.
First flush Darjeeling tea is the first plucking of the year. The most prized harvests come from the early days of the first flush, which typically takes place from the end of February to the end of April. First flush teas have a light taste and colour, and premium grades are extremely aromatic. Lightly rolled, lightly oxidised teas from the first days of the harvest are equally delicious over two infusions and taste delicious as hot or cold brew. First flush Darjeeling teas have more caffeine than second flush teas.
After the tea plants have rested for a little while, comes the second flush production period. For second flush Darjeeling teas, the plants are plucked from May to mid-June. These teas are darker in the cup than the first flush, and good second flush Darjeeling will have a much prized muscat grape flavour.
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