We received a very special delivery a few weeks ago: our brand new First Flush Darjeeling from the Ging Estate in Lebong Valley in west Darjeeling. Available now to order from our warehouse or through the Trade website, supply is limited so place your order today while stocks last.
What is Darjeeling First Flush and Why is it so Special?
Every spring (between March and May) in Darjeeling, something very special happens. The freshest young leaves and buds of the tea plant are picked, and they are then used to produce the very first batch of this truly special tea of the season. ‘Flush’ refers to the growing period and the First Flush of the season is a renowned and celebrated event in the tea world. The new growth leaves plucked during First Flush are the youngest and most tender part of the tea plant and are said to yield the purest and freshest cup of tea that plant is capable of producing.
Spring is key picking time due to the delicacy and tenderness of the leaves produced after the long winter rest. The leaves and buds are lovingly picked to ensure that the quality and integrity is maintained- very little process is actually used. This ensures a powerful, stimulating infusion which is light, crisp and floral with a distinct muscatel flavour. As they are less oxidised during the production process, First Flush Darjeeling teas tend to be lighter and more greenish in appearance than typical black teas. Every batch of this exquisite tea leaf will be different from one day, one tea garden and even one season to the next so no batch of Darjeeling tea will ever taste the same. With Darjeeling First Flush, you are getting something truly unique.
Commonly known as the ‘champagne’ of teas, Darjeeling First Flush is a tea to be celebrated- due to its seasonality, it is generally limited in supply making it more exclusive than most other teas. Definitely something to offer the true tea connoisseur among your customers who is prepared to pay a little bit extra to get a truly special tea experience.
This year, our First Flush was sourced from the Ging Estate in the Lebong Valley area of Western Darjeeling. Nestled high in the hills below the Himalayas, it is one of 87 tea gardens in Darjeelings to boast such fine tea. The area under tea cultivation spreads across 255 hectares. The tea garden is perched at an elevation that varies from 2,000ft to 5,000ft give this Flush its unique flavours.
Why should you Stock this Tea?
- If you want to stand out from the crowd with an exclusive tea offering, First Flush Darjeeling is the tea for you.
- Customers are looking for more when they purchase a cup of loose leaf tea in a café or restaurant. So, it’s about giving them something that they may not necessarily buy or make themselves at home and creating a memorable experience.
- Most teas are available and in season all year round but that’s what makes First Flush Darjeeling so special- because it is only picked and sourced in the spring time, it is the freshest tea on the market and is truly seasonal.
- First Flush Darjeeling is a truly wonderful tea with a delicate, unique taste that you simply won’t get from other black teas. The 'champagne of teas'.
We recommend serving First Flush Darjeeling in one of our stump teapots. Add one heaped scoop per pot and infuse in boiling water that has cooled to 90-95°C for 3-5 minutes (our preference is 4 minutes)
While First Flush Darjeeling is great to enjoy on its own, we also think it tastes great with a range of sweet and savoury food. Depending on your menu, we would suggest serving with delicate pastries, carrot cake, lemon shortbread or macaroons. Or to complement the umami flavour, it's equally as delicious with savoury dishes such as smoked salmon or a goat's cheese salad.
Want to hear an interesting fact?
Our Finance Assistant, Sarah Browne has a particularly strong connection with our new First Flush Darjeeling. Her grandfather, Robert (Bertie) Browne was the Tea Machinery Director at Sirocco Works. Renowned for his authority in the manufacturing of tea in India, he travelled throughout the country advising government bodies on the development of the tea industry and he played a key role in establishing the first tea plantation in the Lebong area where we have sourced this year’s First Flush Darjeeling. It’s not often we have such a local connection with one of our teas!