2020 Darjeeling Glenburn Estate 1st Flush black tea

Darjeeling 2020 1st Flush Glenburn Tea Estate

$8.50$120.00

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Black Tea

 

Glenburn Tea Estate
2020 1st Flush

 

Organic

 

Manufacture:  Orthodox
Grade: FTGFOP 1

 

Cultivar: China tea bush varietal leaf
Oxidation: approximately 70% oxidation
Wither: medium wither

 

Appearance: mixed leaf colors from russets, to greens to silver. Consistent, well-shaped, whole leaf.
Flavor:  bright first flush with just a touch of the ‘European green’ style. Its flavor is brisk and dry, yet subtle on the palate, with a light stone fruit aftertaste
Aroma: clean, bright flowery aroma with hints of fresh hay and stone fruit
Liquor: light yellow-gold-green colored liquor

 

Darjeeling District, West Bengal State, India
100% Pure, Un-blended Darjeeling tea
High-grade leaf from a limited early spring production

2020 1st Flush (March)

This tea was harvested at the earliest point of the plucking season in Darjeeling and it is a special, limited production early spring tea. They are also sold in specific, small lots, in this case EX-25, which is often sold to the same tea specialists every year.

These teas challenge the tea makers to use all their senses and expertise to bring out the best of these micro-lot teas before the busy crush of the main spring harvest begins.

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

 

Steeping Tip:

 

As this tea is made using China tea bush varietal leaf, it is easy to over-steep. Try steeping it twice, first for 90 seconds, and then, as you would with an oolong or green tea, steep the leaf again for 2-3 minutes to obtain a second cup (using freshly boiled water.)

This early-harvest 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.
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Our goal again this year regarding 1st Flush Darjeeling teas 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 will have Darjeeling teas with a softer, less astringent flavor profile, 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. 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.

Bob selected several of Tea Trekker’s 1st Flush Darjeeling teas for 2020 at pretty much the normal time in the early spring; however in many cases delivery of those shipments could not be made by air courier until the travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic were lifted by the Indian govt. Then in most regions the monsoonal floods came in before the lockdown was lifted, so the tea ‘sat’ in various locations in India until it could be shipped, in a few instances being caught up again in yet another pandemic lock-down before finally being released. But they finally were able to be en route in late July and started to arrive in Aug … and we expect more deliveries to continue through Sept, about as late as we have ever seen in 40 years of sourcing Darjeeling tea.

The good news is that the 2nd Flush teas this year should be exquisite and ‘keep’ really well! They will just be very late to arrive…

Our Glenburn Tea Estate 2020 1st Flush Darjeeling tea was plucked a bit early this year, in mid-March, prior to any lockdowns or problems with transport due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, by the time it was scheduled to ship out to us, restrictions had become imposed on flights and ground transport, so we have not been able to receive it until restrictions on travel were lifted and it was able to ship out, along with the several other Darjeeling 1st Flush teas that were also caught up in the quarantine travel restrictions.

So this year it is chronologically an early-season specialty tea; however the weather has been warming quickly and early in many of the premier tea-growing regions of  Asia, so ‘season-wise’ it is right on the normal historic schedule for a Darjeeling Garden with a south-facing orientation. Due to its limited production, the leaf is plucked by the ‘first string’ tea workers, who have been busy this year carefully harvesting the premium crop of leaf that will be the basis of the season’s (therefore the year’s) economy for the estate.

We are happy to report that we are able to hold the price on our Glenburn 1st Flush Darjeeling tea this year to be the same as the 2018 and 2019 harvests. This is very exciting!

The aroma is slightly flowery, but mostly brisk, with hints of fresh hay and herbs. Its flavor is forthright but sweet, not subtle on the palate, but not astringent either. It is in many ways the quintessential 1st Flush Darjeeling: flavorful and deeply full-bodied, with the penetrating flavor for which 1st Flush Darjeelings are famous, balances with the clean, brisk style that marks a 1st Flush manufacture. It is truly delicious!

This 2020 Glenburn Tea Estate 1st Flush Darjeeling selection is from a section of the tea garden that still maintains old China tea bush varietals. The yield from this section is low but the tea has excellent flavor. The weather conditions bring out the best flavor from these tea bushes in the spring.

Glenburn Tea Estate is small – the total acreage of the estate is about 1,800 acres, of which only 704 acres is cultivated for tea. Nevertheless, the estate produces on average 125,000 kilo of tea a year during the 4-seasons of production. Forest reserves, rivers and cool Himalaya air contribute to the unique taste of Glenburn Darjeeling.

The Glenburn Tea Estate is located in the Glenburn Valley at an altitude of approximately 3,200 feet. The tea garden is about 3 hours from the Bagdogra airport. The journey to the estate follows the course of the River Teesta ( take a left at the bridge or you will arrive in Sikkim)  before the climb up towards Darjeeling, and then the drive down into the Glenburn valley.