Darjeeling Teas and Their Characteristics

Darjeeling teas are acknowledged the very best teas in the world. Their taste and flavor remain unmatched and cannot be replicated anywhere else. Tea connoisseurs agree that without Darjeeling, tea would be like wine without the prestige of champagne.

Darjeeling teas are distinguished according to the time of year they are plucked. The plucking season begins at the end of February and continues to the end of November. The teas are equally excellent, but their flavor differs from season to season.

First Flush, also called Easter Flush, is eagerly awaited by the connoisseur. “Flush” refers to the freshly picked leaves, and First Flush means the first tea harvested after winter, from the end of February till the beginning of May. The leaves are tender and light green. The infusion is bright in color and has a light, flowery flavor.

Second Flush refers to the secondary growths from the side of the mature First Flush stem. Second Flush is harvested during summer, from May to mid-July. The amber-gold liquor is fuller and stronger in taste than First Flush. Its flavor can be described as slightly fruity with a pronounced Muscatel fragrance.

Autumn Flush, also known as Autumnal Darjeeling, is harvested late in the season, in October and November, when growth is slow. It has a light coppery tinge and a prominent yet delicate flavor. Green Darjeeling is an unfermented tea. To prevent fermentation, it undergoes a process of steaming immediately after it is plucked.

Green Darjeeling has the most delicate flavor of all teas and is very light in color. Naturally low in caffeine, this tea can be very soothing. Green Darjeeling is very popular because of its mild and fresh taste and its known medical properties.