For the first Tea Tuesdays post I am highlighting one of my current favourites, a First Flush Darjeeling. Teas from Darjeeling, India are often referred to as the champagne of teas. Just like the strict rules protecting Champagne produced exclusively in Champagne, France, Darjeeling tea also shares the same labelling requirements. Darjeeling tea is protected by its GI (Geographical Indication) status due to the regions unique argo-climatic conditions that has afforded Darjeeling tea its distinctive and naturally occurring qualities and flavours. Therefore the characteristics of tea from Darjeeling are attributable to its geographic origin and cannot be replicated elsewhere.
The tea leaves are picked during the first flush, between March and April. The first flush is highly prized, as the tea leaves are coming out of their winter dormancy, leaving them highest in antioxidants and amino acids out of all the harvests. The leaves are light and delicate, with mild muscatel notes and floral aromas. I enjoy the brisk stone fruit notes that come from these less-oxidized and greenish leaves. Please see below for my tasting notes. Let me know what teas you would like to be featured by commenting below or contacting me!