Darjeeling 1st Flush, Oaks FTGFOP 1Spring 2016
A light and elegant first flush Darjeeling straight from the organic Oaks Tea Estate in the Darjeeling Hills. Citrus notes on the nose, with sweet grass and muscatel on the palate. The finish has a slight briskness.
Origin: Kurseong, Darjeeling
Variety: Camellia sinensis sinensis
Oaks is a small and relatively unknown tea estate in the Darjeeling Hills. The gardens are exceptionally well maintained, and it’s with some delight that we’ve managed to secure this admired estate’s exquisite first flush.
First flush Darjeelings are fresh and floral with lifted aromatics, as opposed to the richer, darker second flushes. Both are complex and worth getting to know, and it’s with good reason Darjeeling is known as the Champagne of Tea.
First flush Darjeeling is made from the first new shoots to emerge after a long cold season, which by necessity are picked by hand. The small and soft leaves are withered for longer than later picks, losing a higher proportion of moisture during the process. The reduced moisture means oxidation is slower and only partially completes before the leaves are baked.
The result is more colourful dry leaves, which are also quite green when wet, rather than the dark brown of fully oxidised leaves. The liquor is mid-gold in colour, and much paler than second flush Darjeeling.
First flush is a surprise for many tea drinkers familiar with summer flush teas, and at auction they are always the most sought after teas.
Don’t use boiling water on these tender leaves! Brew at 90-95°C with freshly drawn and filtered water. Use 3g per cup (although we like it stronger) and steep for 2 minutes before serving, or to taste.
We recommend drinking first flush Darjeeling without milk to allow the light flavours to shine.