Darjeeling Upper Fagu Tea Estate 2nd Flush black tea

Darjeeling Upper Fagu Tea Estate 2020 2nd Flush


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Black Tea


Upper Fagu Tea Estate
2020 2nd Flush


Manufacture:  Orthodox
: FTGFOP 1 Special


Cultivar: Darjeeling local cultivar tea leaf, other varietal leaf, and some China bush
Oxidation: approximately 85% oxidation
Wither: medium wither


Appearance: uniform background leaf color, with highlights from the entire russet family. Diverse, well-shaped, whole and cut leaf.
Flavor:  Smooth, creamy Second flush. Its flavor is slightly brisk, nutty, and dry, and bold on the palate. Classic Upper Fagu taste and style
Aroma: clean, bright aroma with hints of fresh hay and tomato stem
Liquor: medium yellow-gold-green colored liquor


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

2020 2nd Flush (early-to-mid July)

This tea was harvested as a special, limited production, mid-to-late season tea. It is sold in specific, small lots, often to the same tea specialist stores (in the UK & EU) 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 during the height of the busy crush of the year’s main harvest.

Use 1 Tablespoon (2 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 was made using China tea bush, other varietal leaf, and local cultivars, it is easy to both under and over-steep it. Try steeping it twice, first for 90-150 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.)
It is also quite good steeped once, for up to 5 minutes, so experiment to discover how you prefer it steeped! Just be sure to use enough leaf ->

This early-harvest pluck is fairly voluminous so it needs a generous measure if you are measuring the finished tea by volume measure rather than by weight. The 1 Tablespoon in our measurement will yield approx. 2 grams of leaf by weight.

My goal again this year regarding our Darjeeling tea selection 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 have Darjeeling 1st Flush tea with a softer, less astringent flavor profile, at least one bold and strident one, 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 (especially anticipated have been the 2nd Flush teas). 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.


I selected Tea Trekker’s 1st Flush Darjeeling teas for 2020 at a slightly later date than usual this Spring due to the pandemic, and those deliveries traveled by air courier to arrive only slightly ‘late’. Replacement inventory and new additions were added during the season, in between the challenges of floods, a monsoon, pandemic lockdowns and the related, necessary interruptions in land, air, and sea travel.

The 2020 2nd Flush teas are quite good this year, though extremely late to arrive! This is possibly the latest that our 2nd Flush Darjeeling teas have ever arrived…in 40+ years. Their time of harvest ranges from May into July, as the weather and garden access were finicky this season. The 2nd Flush teas have spectacular coloration, and the flavor is full and deep, due to a long growing season and reasonably late harvest time.

I trust that you will enjoy my selections.

rjh December 2020

Tea Trekker’s 2020 2nd Flush Darjeeling tea from the Upper Fagu Tea Estate was plucked this year at the classic time for this high-altitude sub-section of the Darjeeling ‘Hills”: mid-July. So this year it is chronologically a perfect example of the genre of specialty, late-spring-plucked black tea. Due to its limited production, the leaf was 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. This leaf is the perfect follow-up to the excellent 1st Flush tea that was manufactured by the tea specialists of Upper Fagu in March of this year.

The aroma is slightly dry, and mostly brisk, with hints of fresh hay, the lighter culinary herbs, and just a hint of tomato stem. Its flavor is straightforward and refreshing, but bold on the palate, and it can be somewhat astringent if steeped too long. It is in many ways a quintessential late-season 2nd Flush Darjeeling: flavorful and deeply full-bodied, with the rich, muscatel flavor for which 2nd Flush Darjeeling teas are famous. There are influences of nut flavors, especially filberts and brazil nut, stalk celery, roasted root vegetables, and it has a creamy body like its earlier 1st Flush ‘sister’. There is a smoothness and rich character to the steeped tea that all premium 2nd Flush Darjeeling teas aspire to but do not all achieve. It is a truly delicious addition to our selection of teas for 2020/2021!

Our 2020 Upper Fagu Tea Estate 2nd Flush Darjeeling selection is from a section of the tea garden that offers a small proportion of classic Darjeeling-developed cultivar tea plants. The yield from this section is low but the tea has excellent flavor. The classic Darjeeling tea season’s weather conditions bring out the best flavor from these tea bushes from the spring until well into the autumn. These bushes contribute remarkable depth of flavor to the overall style of the Upper Fagu 2nd Flush tea’s preparation.

The somewhat remote Upper Fagu Tea Estate, like its few neighbors, is quite small – especially for a Darjeeling tea estate – but is very highly regarded for its premium leaf.

The estate produces black tea in the classic, more traditional style of Darjeeling.

Forest reserves, rivers and cool Himalaya air contribute to the unique taste of Darjeeling teas that originate in the Teesta Valley, the most northeasterly tea-growing valley of the officially-designated region of Darjeeling. The general altitude in this area is around 3000 feet. This region sits northeast of the majority of the other gardens of the ‘official’ Darjeeling region and just south of Sikkim. We are always amazed that this area is so far west of Lhasa. When we were in Xigaze years ago we could have traveled due south and been in Darjeeling quite directly, by following the western frontier of Bhutan.

Some of the other gardens in this sub-region, from which we have had delicious tea, are Glenburn, Hillton, Namring, Snowview, Runglee Rungliot, and Selimbong. We hope to taste several teas from this valley in Darjeeling East this year, as they tend to be quite good. It seems that the lack of harvesting in 2017 (due to the general strike) served this area well, while it was not a good influence in most of the other sub-regions of Darjeeling.