Darjeeling First Flush 2016 Tea receives Christmas rain

When it comes to Darjeeling Teas, Darjeeling First Flush Tea is one of the biggest and the first season of a new year. Darjeeling First Flush is one that tea gardens and tea lovers eagerly wait for the new teas to be available. Its that time of the year again when the tea bushes remove their warm winter blankets, stand up and sprout up after lying dormant for almost three winter months. Now its time for this year’s Darjeeling First Flush 2016 Tea to begin and we are all excited as to how teas will come in different variations. None of the teas produced in a particular year will have an exact match of the following year. Likewise, a particular tea from previous year will not match with this years Darjeeling First Flush 2016 tea. Below you will see a short video of the first rain received in Darjeeling which is so essential for the tea bushes to quench its thirst.

Darjeeling First Flush 2016

Celestial waters on Darjeeling First Flush 2016 tea flower

Conditions necessary for Darjeeling First Flush

Like any other growing matter, tea needs certain ingredients or conditions to flourish and bloom into glory. The most important factors for the tea plant to flush properly are proper weather conditions. The most essential are appropriate amount of sun, rain and mist. Soil, which is one of the most important physical aspect that accounts for the quality of tea, is an integral part of the tea plant which is already attached to the roots. The deciding factors for the type of tea produced are many like the different cultivars used, tea maker or master, etc. and this needs a different diverse topic on it’s own.

 

First Flush Tea

Darjeeling First Flush season showing tea garden terroir

Although Darjeeling is quite a rainy place specially during the monsoons, the tea plants need adequate amount of rainfall to quench its thirst during off monsoon as well. Like for example, during the winter months, the cold temperatures inhibit growth and on top of this, there is no adequate sunshine and rainfall. After the winter months are over, the tea industry gears up for the Darjeeling First Flush, the first season of the year. For the First Flush tea crop to grow its two leaves and a bud, the essential rain during the month of December is necessary, fondly known as the “Christmas Rain”. Christmas rain is referred to as the first shower, new beginning of the tea year and favorably attached to the emotional content of being auspicious that leads to a feeling of “everything will be fine”. Overall a celebration for something new that is to be born, grown and harvested. Here it refers to the new two leaves and a bud.

 

Darjeeling First Flush 2016 Tea receives delayed Christmas Rain

This year there was very little rain during the Christmas time, only a few drizzles that didn’t last long at all and hence I would say that Darjeeling Tea needed rain. It was until February 8 that we received a decent amount of rain in Darjeeling. I would thus say that the Christmas rain was delayed a bit. It is always good to have rain than no rain at all.

Darjeeling Flushes tea leaves

Darjeeling First Flush wet tea leaves

Around 2 pm as I was sipping tea and doing some email replies, I could hear some pitter patter on the dead dry roof above while in the office. I moved the curtains and saw the rain gods gleaming towards our blue ball, quenching thirst to various kind. I immediately got outside, all unplanned with just an umbrella and my smartphone. That’s all I had. I headed towards Happy Valley Tea Estate on foot. Do you know that Thunderbolt Tea is situated just 10 minutes walk from Happy Valley Tea Estate? By the time I reached, the rain had stopped and just a slight drizzle was there. I was disappointed standing in the middle of the tea plants with my red umbrella. But the disappointment faded away soon as it started to rain again, the first rain for Darjeeling First Flush 2016.

Keeping in mind all of you folks who are Darjeeling Tea lovers, I thought that the first rain should be captured and shared. You ought to know and see for yourselves. You have the right to delve deep into the matter and that’s what I am trying here. Its not just drinking tea that makes one a tea lover, but rejoicing with it is equally important. It gives you immense joy when you can accommodate all of its culture in that tiny cup of yours. Every sip becomes divine!

 

I was able to take some photos as well as a video with my smartphone which is included in this post. In the video above you will hear some noise rather a pitter patter of rain drops falling on my umbrella. You can also see me giving you a “Tea Hi” at the very end of the video. Video quality is not so great taken with my smartphone. Hope you will accept it and like as well!

 

Darjeeling Tea Estate terroir uneven showers

When talking about rainfall, I would like to make it clear that Darjeeling Tea Estates or gardens are not situated in a single area comprising of a single entity, it is spread far and wide and numerous (about 87 tea gardens functioning) in number. The rainfall received can never be even throughout. Some tea gardens take more than 2 hours to reach and the terroir is definitely varying, some with low altitude and some with high altitudes.

First Flush Darjeeling Tea

The mystical prayer flags can be seen in almost all of the Darjeeling Tea estates or gardens. Now is the First Flush season

Tea Estates located near Darjeeling town and Sukhiapokhri like Arya Tea Estate, Happy Valley, Orange Valley Tea Esate, Kanchan View Tea Estate etc. received a decent amount of rain for sure. Lower altitude tea gardens usually flush earlier due to warm temperatures while the high altitude slower, due to colder temperatures. And to be noted, this first rain for upcoming Darjeeling First flush 2016 tea season is not enough, we need more of such decent showers and hopefully the Thunder gods do their cloud-clashing and bring it shining down. Otherwise the dry spell will hit us and there will only be limited quantities available.

 

We will know it first hand since Thunderbolt Tea is situated right in the heart of Darjeeling and knows each tea garden thoroughly and the quality they produce. After all its already been been 17 years since we have been trading Darjeeling Tea locally. If you have been buying tea from us or thinking of, its your right to know if we are authentic or not – here you can read 6 Good Reasons to buy Darjeeling Tea from Thunderbolt Tea Its simply is a worry free experience when it come to your tea’s quality.

 

Tea gardens depend on First and Second Flush

Darjeeling First Flush is one tea that marks the beginning of the year for tea and is highly sought after by tea connoisseurs worldwide. It comprises of about 1.5- 2 million kgs yield in the two months flush which starts from end of February to April end. Almost 20 percent of the total yield in a year. Most of the Darjeeling First Flush teas are exported and usually receives a good price tag. Including Second Flush, First Flush is one that tea gardens depend on. Autumnal teas don’t fetch higher prices than the First and Second Flush.

 

To conclude

So here is wishing Darjeeling tea industry a good Darjeeling First Flush 2016 tea season bestowed with good rain and over all good essential weather conditions. And above all, good quality Darjeeling First Flush 2016 teas. Lets keep our fingers crossed. I am already salivating for the “flowery-astringent” First Flush teas which I can recall from my previous tea tastings, numerous actually 🙂

 

Note: Please do keep a tab on our new teas from 2016 First Flush on our Darjeeling First Flush 2016 tea page.

 

Do sign up for our mailing list, entitled “Chai Patra” for updates on 2016 First Flush Darjeeling Tea season and first hand tea related stories directly from Darjeeling because we are here, in Darjeeling 🙂 By the way “Chai Patra” means “Tea Letter” where chai is tea and patra means letter. Enjoy!

 

Cheers!
– Benoy

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