First Flush Darjeeling


"Thank God for tea!  What would the world do without tea?  
How did it exist?  I am glad I was not born before tea."   
-Sydney Smith (1771-1845)
For an avid tea lover like myself, one of the best parts 
about springtime is the arrival of the first flush Darjeeling 
teas.  Darjeeling teas are considered "the champagne of teas" 
and are valued for their fragrant aroma and delicate taste.  
Even though there are some green and white teas produced in the 
Darjeeling district of northeastern India, the majority of teas 
produced are light-bodied black teas.  To enjoy their subtle 
flavor notes, I like to drink them without any additions like 
milk or sweetener.
These teas are called "first flush" because the leaves are picked 
(or "plucked") when the tea plants start to grow again in the 
spring.  The brand new growth of young shoots is called a "flush".  
So, "the first flush" indeed tastes like springtime - fresh and 
somewhat green with soft floral and fruity notes.  Some of my 
favorites even have a flavor note like bananas!  Ah, even a hint 
of the summer yet to come.
After a long New England winter, I enjoy this "springtime in a 
teacup"!  It revives and refreshes and inspires me to start new 
Do you like tea?  What kinds? 

This entry was posted in Tea.

6 comments on “First Flush Darjeeling

  1. Lisa Clarke says:

    I’ve become a fan of green tea lately. This cold, rainy, New Jersey morning, though, I just made myself a travel mug of Trader Joe’s Mint Melange organic herbal tea. Very nice. I just wish I had realized I’d accidentally left the mug in the van *before* taking off my wet shoes and soaked jacket… I just don’t want to go back out there in the ick.

    I just discovered your blog this morning – I’m looking forward to wandering around!


  2. artandtea says:

    Hi Lisa, thanks for your comments! I enjoyed reading about what type of tea you like. I”m a fan of green tea, too. I’ll be writing more about tea, definitely green tea 🙂 , so come back and visit anytime.

  3. Dave says:

    Hi there!

    As you know, I am a big fan of Assams as a daily tea. But I also appreciate the delicate flavors found in greens teas and white teas. I often wonder if green tea and Darjeelings would be more popular if people knew to prepare them properly – using the right temperature water and steeping times.

    It is amazing the degree to which water temperature and steeping time impact flavor. An over steeped Darjeeling or green can be a nightmare. The same tea prepared properly is a delight – full of flavor notes and sweet fresh aroma.

  4. artandtea says:

    Hi Dave, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your favorite teas! I agree with you – green and white teas can taste so very different when the water temperature is hotter than recommended. Plus, different water sources can impact flavor as well. Happy sipping!

  5. Spring says:

    Hi! I`m a fan of Darjeeling teas too,I must say that all tea lovers should also try the exclusive teas which are made in a very limited quantity each season, I had just ordered Some Singbulli Clonal Delight(Reserve) and some Castleton(moonlight) directly from a merchant from darjeeling named Tea Emporium and I must say it changed my views completely for Darjeeling tea, we often find Darjeeling teas to be bitter at the end but these teas are just exceptional in terms of high flavor and mellow character,I think all tea lovers should atleast try ordering teas from this website of one of the oldest trader from Darjeeling ….its

  6. artandtea says:

    Thanks Spring for sharing your favorite tea purveyor! I’m partial to the teas from the company I work for, My favorite first flush Darjeelings from this year’s harvest so far are from the Risheehat estate and the Seeyok estate. I’m looking forward to trying the Makaibaris very soon when they arrive. Yes, I agree with you that Darjeelings can be a little fussy in their brewing requirements but if the steeping times are followed carefully, the result is an experience to be savored, one sip at a time.

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