- Sold Out for 2021 - 2021 Darjeeling 1st Flush Glenburn Tea Estate 'Moonshine' black tea

Darjeeling 2021 1st Flush (pre-) Glenburn Tea Estate ‘Moonshine’


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Black Tea


Glenburn Tea Estate
2021 pre-1st Flush ‘Moonshine’



EU Compliant


Manufacture:  Orthodox
Moonshine  #EX-23

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


Appearance: mixed leaf colors with many hues of green and a few leaves of russet. Consistent, well-shaped, open, light-in-heft whole leaf.
Flavor:  bright, pre-1st Flush leaf with just a little of the modern European ‘green’ flavor profile. Its flavor is delicate and sweet, yet subtle on the palate, with a lightly floral warmth and hints of soft stone fruit.
Aroma: clean, bright flowery aroma with hints of fresh grass and fresh herbs
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, very early spring production

2021 pre-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. One might look at this tea as a pre-1st flush tea. Teas in this category do not meet standard sieve sizes for the leaf, so they are not graded with the customary designations used for Darjeeling 1st Flush teas but are given distinguishing names such as ‘Moonshine’ or ‘Peach Blossom’ which represent their unique taste characteristics, or are simply fanciful. They are also sold in specific, small lots, in this case EX-23, and are 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.

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 planet’s ‘new weather’ seems to agree and has helped to produce many delicious teas for 2021. 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 expected to be another great year for tea, and Darjeeling/Nepal/Himalaya tea in particular. The more normal amount of rainfall has increased the moisture in the leaf which leads to less breakage, a deeper flavor, and better keeping potential. Also, the teas will likely ‘age’ well and mature in flavor, rather than diminish, over the next 10-15 months.


Being able to basically take a year off from being harvested (due to pandemic restrictions last year on harvesting, manufacture, shipping, etc) has in most cases been good for the plants, the leaf, and the gardens in general, so the taste this year is expected to contribute to what is hoped to be a “Vintage Year”.

This year, 2021, Tea Trekker’s Moonshine EX- 23 Darjeeling tea was plucked during the first week of March (about the same time as the last few years’ harvests have begun). It is an early season specialty tea with a limited production of roughly 10-15 kilos per day for only a few days. These early season teas (actually pre-1st flush) require the skill of the most experienced tea pickers and are the most expressive examples of the terroir of any tea garden. During every plucking session, the pickers must explore each nook and cranny of the garden in order to find the leaf that has emerged from the until-recently-dormant tea bushes, picking only the most perfect emerging buds and leaves. When the weather is finicky, (as it has been and will likely continue to be) it can be quite a challenge to keep up with the unpredictable emergence of new leaf.

The aroma is lightly flowery (similar to the 2016 & 2019 harvest seasons, but more focused than either of those harvests); breezy with hints of fresh grass and green herbs. Its flavor is concentrated and its mouth feel honey-rich, yet focused, with a lightly floral warmth and hints of ripe stone fruit in aroma.

Our 2021 Moonshine tea is from a section of the tea garden that still maintains old China tea bush varietals. The yields from this section are low but the tea has excellent flavor. The local weather conditions bring out the best flavor from these tea bushes only in the early spring, when quickly-rising temperatures encourage the rapid emergence of the buds necessary for this style of tea. Gentle rains this year contributed to ample rainfall throughout the spring, which will sustain these premium bushes for yet another year. The top-tier “EX” lots of tea are difficult to obtain in today’s competitive global tea market, so we are quite pleased to have this tea again for 2021! Supply is reduced this year, so if you are a fan of this tea do not delay purchasing it…

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 kilos 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 journey 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.