The Jungpana Tea Estate is situated near the famous town of Darjeeling. The tea gardens have an excellent location and altitude; they lie at 3,000 – 4500 ft and are blessed with a nurturing south-facing orientation. The exceptional quality of tea produced at this estate is derived almost exclusively from China jat – leaf plucked from China tea bush varietals. The distinctive flavor components of this leaf will stimulate the palate and refresh the taste buds. Fresh, lively and pure – glorious Darjeeling tea flavor is featured once again in this 2020 harvest.
Tea Trekker’s selection of 1st Flush tea from Jungpana Tea Estate for 2020 was challenging because there was this really good early pluck, prior to the lockdown in northern India, but it seemed impossible that they would be able to have it plucked, dried, manufactured, and shipped out before the govt would be shutting down the transport of goods for export. And that is what happened, so our delicious tea was forced to ‘rest’ in the garden for a little extra time before it was able to be shipped out to us.
However, it has now arrived and is one of the early Darjeeling teas that we have, with many more to follow…
What is noticeably distinctive about the early Darjeeling 1st Flush teas in general this year are the full body and richly-flavored quality. It is a good year in general and certainly the teas have great flavor components and taste. The weather during the late winter lead-in to the flush seasons was more ‘normal’ than it has been in recent memory, with plentiful rainfall just in time for the buds and subsequent leaf to plump up and develop a more mature flavor than is typical for a 1st Flush, and, in many instances, the 2020 early teas have a pronounced quality and deep, concentrated flavor. They are, in general, right on the flavor line at which crisp meets muscatel; and we think that is a great position for a high quality Darjeeling!
This year’s 2020 1st Flush tea from Jungpana Tea Estate is a connoisseurs’ treat: classic ‘biscuit’ flavor accented with several light influences of traditional ‘tea’ flavor profiles: significant elements of stone fruit aroma and flavor, and the ever-so-slight aroma that one picks up from the earth when walking at a wood’s edge after a brief shower.
The dry leaf shows a light coloration with an abundance of tan leaf – not unheard of in a fine Darjeeling, but unusual in its prominance. There is a small amount of green leaf, in the modern style, while the extremely early season warming this year contributed a less astringent and assertive style in the cup.
This tea will accept dairy and/or sweetener, but we prefer it plain so that all the nuance of the complex flavors can dance on the palate.
The aroma is in perfect proportion to the flavor so they work in tandem to provide a wonderful, complete flavor package.
The later, post-lockdown-plucked teas are similar but just a little bit lighter, overall. The tea year regarding south Asian tea has gone from being an excellent one to being a very good one, and that means that there is an abundance of high-quality tea for us to drink from now until this time next year.
The leaf is not finicky – it can be steeped longer than most Darjeeling teas and retain a clear, light flavor profile.
The aroma is clean and light but very intriguing and encourages further exploration. the color and overall style is completely positive.
This tea has a wonderful concentration of flavor that belies its initial sense of lightness. Use plenty of leaf because it is bulky due to its open style. Let it steep long – it will not challenge you, but reward you with incredible flavor and depth.
If you are looking for a classic, organically-produced 1st Flush Darjeeling tea from an esteemed garden, this is your tea!
To consistently produce some of the finest Darjeeling in the world for over a century, the management at Jungpana plucks only the most delicate leaves. They have mastered the intricacies of manufacture, and have premium quality as their priority. The Jungpana Estate was planted by the British, then owned initially by the Scotland-based Duncan Brothers. Later, it was owned by the Ranas of Nepal and thereafter has been with the Kejriwal family for more than five decades.