2020 Darjeeling Goomtee Estate 1st Flush Spring Delight black tea

Darjeeling 2020 1st Flush Goomtee Tea Estate ‘Spring Delight’


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Black Tea


Goomtee Tea Estate
2020 1st Flush ‘Spring Delight




Manufacture:  Orthodox
Grade:  ‘Delight’


Cultivar:  mixed tea bush varietals
 approximately 75% oxidation
Wither: very hard wither


Appearance: the dry leaf is quite varied. It is a mix of well-oxidized, open-twist dark leaf; small, silver-grey tips; with a small percentage of European-style green leaf
Flavor: medium-bodied, with a very clean & crisply-balanced fullness.  As the Chinese refer to it: ‘the returning flavor’ is superb, and holds ‘Spring Delight‘ pure flavor on the palate for quite a while.
Aroma: complex aroma of parsley, cut grass, and fresh lemon grass
Liquor: pure, medium straw-colored liquor


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

2019 1st Flush ‘Spring Delight’ (March)

Delight‘ Tea manufacture: A limited number of traditional tea gardens in Darjeeling produce a small amount of a special manufacture of tea known as ‘Delight‘ tea. This subcategory of the 1st Flush is made using uncut China bush leaf and is hand-made following an old-fashioned, traditional methodology. The leaf can be identified as a ‘Delight‘ tea by visual appearance in both the dry and wet form, but is easiest to spot in the wet leaf.

The leaf must be plucked during the first few days of the 1st Flush period, from 100% China bush plants, grown at a very high altitude. Following careful manufacture the uncut leaf is fired whole by charcoal roasting. This particular firing style sets the leaf differently than the normal drying and the leaf then needs a resting period before it really develops and opens up.


After a month or two, a ‘Delight‘ manufacture shows sweetness and body that is really unusual for a high altitude, China bush tea. Tea connoisseurs world-wide who are aware of ‘Delight‘ tea seek out these small lots and supervise them while they mature. Drunk starting several months after harvest, these rest and age unlike any other type of tea. The distinctive flavor of a ‘Delight‘ 1st Flush Darjeeling tea comes from exactly this preparation. The established, heirloom varietal China bush tea plants that grow in the gardens that manufacture ‘Delight‘ teas contribute a rich softness to the taste of this tea.

While we normally supervise this ‘resting’ period, here in our building, during which time the leaf mellows, this year the ‘ripening‘ happened in India because of the holdups in transit due to the pandemic and the monsoonal floods. One can never know whether it makes any difference where this mellowing occurs, but this tea this year is particularly delicious, so perhaps it represents a bit of a ‘silver lining’ to the big mess that has challenged the world over the last eight months. There had to be at least one good thing that came out of all this strife! Perhaps delicious ‘Delight‘ tea is the answer!

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

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…

Tea Trekker has offered many teas from Goomtee Tea Estate over the years. ‘Spring Delight‘ is a very special manufacture from this garden.

Early-pluck Goomtee can be quite assertive and astringent; however, ‘Spring Delight‘ is not. It has a very clean and well-made, pure flavor that is classic and straightforward while offering complexity through its aroma and body.

As tends to be true with ‘Delight‘ teas in general, this one needed a little time after manufacture to develop into the world-class, exciting tea that it is now. What a wonderful silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic that our supply of this leaf was forced to linger in various stations in India while one lock-down, then the monsoonal floods, then a second pandemic lock-down all blocked its journey to the West (us!). We are finding that this delicious tea is now perfectly balanced. The taste is straight as an arrow and does not vary, from sip to sip and from pot to pot. Reminiscent of the rich crispness of freshly-cut grass, ‘Spring Delight‘ also mixes in some complexity that we can suggest as hinting at the herb parsley and the hugely popular tisane lemon grass. We think that this is perhaps the most enchanting Darjeeling 1st Flush tea that we have had in several years (and that is saying quite a bit given the varied assortment that we have this year and have had in the last several years…).

The aroma of the dry leaf is intoxicating, bold, very clean, and really intriguing; however the aroma of the steeped liquid expands and the complexity blossoms. The color of the liquor is stunning – a pure medium-straw.

Spring Delight‘ has an exquisitely soft and focused aftertaste. This ‘returning flavor’, as the Chinese refer to it, is superb, and holds this fine tea’s elusive flavor on the palate for quite a while.

The Goomtee Tea Estate is located in the Kurseong Valley (the land of orchids) of Darjeeling at an altitude ranging from 3,280 – 6.561 feet. The garden is ideally situated for the production of quality Darjeeling tea. It is located in the prime quality tea-growing belt between the tea estates of Jungpana to the East and Makaibari and Castleton to the West.The weather in Goomtee Estate is perfect for growing tea: the temperatures are cool to moderate and rainfall is generous. As a result the garden produces some of the most aromatic teas in Darjeeling.