First Flush Darjeeling Tea 2017 season, a slow start

It’s that time of the year again when those taste buds start to yearn for a fresh feel of the year’s first season, namely, First Flush Darjeeling Tea 2017. As we know that teas are highly dependent on overall weather conditions and Darjeeling is the most unpredictable one. No one can give an exact start and end date, but has a fixed period within which the teas should start growing. Meaning for Darjeeling First Flush, the start should be from end of February to mid April. After mid April, according to the weather conditions, the tea leaves will go into the banji period. Banji period teas are a mix of First and Second Flush. They have mixed characters often lower in quality. This Darjeeling First Flush 2017 tea season had a slow start!


No initial rain for First Flush Darjeeling Tea 2017

This year, there was no “Christmas Rain” for First Flush Darjeeling Tea 2017 and there was drought like situation. On March 15, 2017 I had taken a tour of various tea gardens from the highest altitude tea gardens to the lowest towards Gayabari Tea Estate on the Mirik Valley region. I then climbed up via Longview Tea Estate. It was just a survey ride inspecting the tea bushes. To my utter surprise none of the tea gardens had done flushing and there was almost zero new First Flush tea leaves on the bushes. Only one tea garden had abundance of flushing, which was Longview Tea Estate. This is because it is situated in a pretty warm temperature and had received some rainfall.

It was an alarming sight and I thought I wouldn’t get any teas this year due to the dry weather conditions. I thought there would be no tea except for some small heaps got from irrigation. But I guess, the rain gods wasn’t so cruel after all. After my visit, it did rain and quite sufficiently. Now it was sun’s turn to shower it’s mercy on the land. After the rain, the land needs to warm up a bit to sprout new life, the tea leaves. Unfortunately weather conditions started to be extremely cold and gloomy.

Like in the winters when it is cold, the tea growth gets inhibited. Here, the much needed warmth of the rays was missing and hence no flushing. The silver lining was there and the clouds ultimately moved. It showed us the rays of hope from March 21. First Flush Darjeeling Tea 2017 was saved, but started a bit late. This also means the First Flush period was cut short. And production quantity lower, but thankfully within the quality time period.


Women Tea pickers on their way to pick the new First Flush Darjeeling Tea 2017 leaves

Teas chosen this First Flush 2017

We did get some First Flush Darjeeling Tea 2017 samples initially but these were all bundled up with the winter tea leaves, not a pure First Flush. The flavors were minimum and the leaf structure was below average. We thought we would wait and we did. When we visited Castleton on April 3, it had just made DJ 3 when the production should have been much more. The leaves had just started to come. Meaning proper First Flush started only from the first week of April.

Beautiful teas were at hand and we had to do a lot of tea tastings. Like for instance, Giddapahar Tea Estate sampled us a number of china graded teas. One was extraordinary made from a special quality growing area and we bought this “china delight”. Obviously, you will get tons of Giddapahar being sold online, but the exclusive variety is hard to find. Yes, its with us. Another example is of Castleton Moonlight tea which we first started selling online. We know this tea over the years and we know what it exactly should be in terms of quality. Hence you can try comparing with others and see for yourselves.

Giddapahar Tea Estate owner Mr. Sudhangshu

Mr. Sudhangshu, Giddapahar Tea Estate owner, showing us the tea leaves from his best tea growing section/area.

Similarly, we choose other tea garden teas with utmost care and according to expertise in tea tasting. We don’t buy just for the sake of buying or if a particular tea sells like hot cake due to its previous popularity. It can have the worst of quality in a particular season.

We had one wholesale client who used to buy directly from the tea gardens. The merchant told us that our quality of tea was better than the tea which the tea garden had sent them directly. We buy from the tea garden as well, but the simple reason for our teas being better is how we hand pick the teas after rigorous tea tasting of same grade teas. Example if we have to choose one china grade tea then there will be at least 20 china grade teas to choose from. If we hadn’t had the expertise in tea tasting and the years of experience handed by our forefathers, we would as well be choosing the wrong teas as well. This is why all of our teas stand apart, though you may find same teas being sold somewhere else and maybe also at a cheaper rate. This we cannot afford because good teas always cost more even at the time when we are buying, but one thing I can guarantee you is that we won’t be drinking mediocre teas – only the best will be at your possession.


Lastly Thank you!

Yes, thank you very much for patiently waiting and giving us the opportunity to showcase what Darjeeling has to offer best this Darjeeling First Flush 2017 season. Shop worry free and choose any tea you want, we guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed.


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