- Sold Out for 2020 - Darjeeling Giddapahar Tea Estate 'Eastern Wonder' 2nd Flush black tea

Darjeeling Giddapahar Tea Estate ‘Eastern Wonder’ 2020 2nd Flush

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Black Tea

 

Darjeeling Giddapahar Tea Estate
2020 2nd Flush ‘Eastern Wonder’

 

Manufacture:  Orthodox
Grade:
‘Muscatel’ / ‘Wonder’

 

Cultivar: China tea bush varietal leaf
Oxidation: very long, fully-oxidized black tea
Wither: short wither

 

Appearance: traditional 2nd Flush Darjeeling leaf with a nicely-mottled coloration and light tippiness
Flavor: smooth, deep flavor with no astringency
Aroma: cacao, melon, and dried wood bark
Liquor: medium-dark amber liquor

 

Darjeeling District, West Bengal State, India
100% Pure, Un-blended Darjeeling tea

2020 2nd Flush (June)

 

1st Flush Darjeeling – February/March and April 2020
2nd Flush Darjeeling – May/June (in 2019 & 2020 it was primarily June)

 

Spring is the peak time for new leaf growth as the tea bushes awaken from winter hibernation. These early-harvest, first-plucked Darjeelings are known as 1st Flush teas. This plucking season is followed by the harvest of 2nd Flush Darjeelings, which completes the annual spring harvest cycle.

 

Darjeeling tea is highly sought after worldwide for its smooth, rich muscatel flavor and fine bouquet. It is often referred to as the ‘Champagne’ of tea because of its elegance and finesse in the cup. The Darjeeling tea gardens are located in the Lesser Himalaya Range of West Bengal in Northern India. The flavor of Darjeeling tea is greatly influenced by the mist-shrouded environment of the tea gardens (which are scattered over the hills and valleys at 5,000- 6,700 feet in altitude) and the slow maturity of plant development in cool, high-altitude locations.

 

Supremely elegant and lively in the cup, 1st and 2nd Flush Darjeelings are traditionally among our most prized teas.

 

Use 1 Tablespoon (2-3 grams) per 6 oz water
Steep 1 infusion for 2+  minutes*
Water temperature should be 185°F-195° F

 

*Steeping Tip:

We are recommending a moderately short steep for this tea. I have been steeping it for about two and a half minutes. The leaf is large for a Darjeeling, so use a generous measure. We have been quite successful re-steeping the leaf, often for quite a long steeping time – even 4 minutes.

Though highly oxidized, this tea is manufactured using China tea bush varietal leaf, so it is easy to over-steep. Try steeping it twice, first for 2 minutes, and then, (as you would with an oolong or green tea) steep the leaf again for 3-4 minutes to obtain a second cup (using freshly boiled water).

This pluck is quite voluminous so it needs a generous measure if determined by volume measure rather than by weight. The 1 Tablespoon in our measurement will yield approx. 2.5 grams of leaf by weight.
rjh

 

My goal again this year regarding our Darjeeling tea selection has been to procure more variety and less depth than we formerly offered ‘back in the old days’. The weather seemed to agree and has helped to produce many delicious teas for 2020. We have Darjeeling 1st Flush tea with a softer, less astringent flavor profile, at least one bold and strident one, and also ones in the brisk, more modern ‘European’ (green) style. So whatever style you prefer – or if you enjoy them all – this is a great year for tea, and Darjeeling in particular (especially anticipated have been the 2nd Flush teas). The more normal amount of rainfall has increased the moisture in the leaf which leads to less breakage and a deeper flavor and better keeping potential. Also the teas will likely ‘age’ well and increase in flavor rather than diminish over the next 10-15 months.

 

I selected Tea Trekker’s 1st Flush Darjeeling teas for 2020 at a slightly later date than usual this Spring due to the pandemic, and those deliveries traveled by air courier to arrive only slightly ‘late’. Replacement inventory and new additions were added during the season, in between the challenges of floods, a monsoon, pandemic lockdowns and the related, necessary interruptions in land, air, and sea travel.

The 2020 2nd Flush teas are quite good this year, though extremely late to arrive! This is possibly the latest that our 2nd Flush Darjeeling teas have ever arrived…in 40+ years. Their time of harvest ranges from May into July, as the weather and garden access were finicky this season. The 2nd Flush teas have spectacular coloration, and the flavor is full and deep, due to a long growing season and reasonably late harvest time.

I trust that you will enjoy my selections.

rjh December 2020

Our Eastern Wonder 2nd Flush tea from the early/middle part of the main harvest at Giddapahar Tea Estate this year is for those who prefer that their Darjeeling tea has a rich, mouth-filling, smooth-around-the-edges and ‘traditional’ china bush style. This style, in which the wither is short and the oxidation long, is often referred to as ‘muscatel’ in Darjeeling, and is clearly different than the green-ish style that is a result of a long wither and short oxidation. While the latter style has seemed so prevalent recently, we are seeing more of this traditional muscatel style now, especially in the manufacture of the 2nd Flush teas, and we think this is great. The 2020 harvest was again perfect for this more traditional wither/oxidation balance due to the normal-to-late harvest and larger leaf particle size, (as the leaf was in 2019).

The dry leaf has this slightly large size due to the plentiful rains this spring. This china bush leaf has the classic 2nd Flush aroma in its dry leaf: pure, clean and straightforward. The considerable aroma that is contained in the leaf releases readily upon application of the steeping water, and will vary in intensity depending on the temperature of the hot water. Very pleasant and highly desirable aromatic qualities are released by the wet leaf during steeping. While the dry leaf has hints of melon, cacao, and dry wood bark (including just a tease of camphor) in the aroma, the wet leaf releases these aromatics in restrained abundance. Cacao and the classic aroma of a high quality china bush black tea are the primary elements of this enticing tea – in total, the oxidized smell that so distinctively identifies this traditional style of 2nd Flush wither and oxidation, whether from eastern China or from northern India.

The leaf is classically beautiful, very dark in color, with not a trace of any modern, trendy, green, long-withered leaf. The leaf is long and wiry, very even in composition, and has the rich classic color of a traditional 2nd Flush Darjeeling.

The base flavor of this Darjeeling, and generally of the Giddapahar Tea Estate’s 2nd Flush teas, is that of a classic 2nd Flush Darjeeling. This taste could serve as the model for its genre. Lush, deeply-flavored, and without astringency, it possesses a significant raisin-y taste on top of its muscatel flavor. There is a show of biscuit in the mix, without its becoming overly dry. Layered on top of this traditional Darjeeling 2nd Flush flavor is the influence of the china bush taste, which offers the cacao, dark toast, and that touch of camphor that is so popular in some circles. This tea is so well-balanced and smooth that it could almost pass for an eastern China tea, but the core Darjeeling flavor keeps it firmly in the Darjeeling flavor profile in the final analysis. Very full-bodied, the soft, muscatel flavor is in perfect balance with the body and aroma throughout the drinking experience.

The leaf includes plenty of slightly lighter-coloured leaf to offer the classic ‘mottled’ coloration of an historic, later-season Darjeeling tea. The leaf is mid-length and chopped cleanly, very even in composition, and has the varied coloration of a premium second harvest Darjeeling.

Showing a beautiful liquor color of deep claret-amber, this tea is a stunner.

We are recommending a moderately short steep for this tea. I have been steeping it for about two and a half minutes. The leaf is large for a Darjeeling, so use a generous measure. We have been quite successful re-steeping the leaf, often for quite a long steeping time – even 4 minutes.

Giddapahar Tea Estate is located in the most prestigious heart of the Kurseong Valley. (Giddapahar is translated from Nepali to mean Eagles’ Cliff). Giddapahar Estate is owned by fourth generation Surendra Nath Singh and his brother, and is a relatively small area of 109 hectares. The gardens are poised at an average altitude of 4,800 feet and their orientation offers an incredible view of the Himalaya. The garden was first developed in 1881 and has been producing fine tea continuously.

Giddapahar is one of the few remaining tea estates with gardens that still produce tea from older plantings of China bush tea varietals. We feel that leaf from these mature tea bushes adds body and richness to the mouth-feel of a fine Darjeeling, so we always look for these ‘gems’ from the few gardens that still maintain their long-lived China bush stock.