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.