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Darjeeling 1st Flush Goomtee Estate, 2 oz. package
Darjeeling 1st Flush Goomtee Estate
One of the most anticipated harvests of the season, these small, first-growth leaves are all picked by hand and identified by estate and lot number, enabling trace-ability. This extremely limited batch is from the Goomtee Estate, which has been in operation since 1899. The wintergreen and savory aroma of the leaves leads to a light-bodied cup with walnut and white floral notes.
walnut and white floral notes
Year of Production:
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Reading The Leaves
In the Oct 2008 edition of
, the award-winning magazine on food, drink, travel and adventure, our friend Harris Salat has written an enlightening article on Darjeeling tea production. We'd like to share an excerpt of this article with you...
"...The women are all Gurkhas, members of the famously rugged mountain-dwelling ethnic group that has long inhabited parts of India and Nepal; they work as pluckers here at the 207-acre Goomtee tea estate in Darjeeling, a district of the Indian state of West Bengal. I've traveled here with my friend Sebastian Beckwith, a 43-year-old tea buyer from Connecticut who makes regular trips to small, family-run estates across Asia. This one, which is located in a remote valley near the borders of Nepal and Bhutan, is where some of the world's finest black tea is produced.
We follow the pluckers into the steep-sided valley, blanketed by a green quilt of tea bushes. Automation would not be practical in this terrain, so the leaves must be harvested by hand. We watch a woman bow slightly over a tea bush that has been pruned to a precise height of two and a half feet. Her narrow fingers probe the "picking table", as the bush's flat top is called, swiftly plucking leaves: snap-snap-snap-snap. "She's after two leaves and a bud", Sebastian says, referring to the combination of leaf and tender new growth that yields the best darjeeling teas. In the ravines below us, clouds drift by like smoke. Sebastian has told me that it was here, in these valleys, that he found in the tea leaf a world as deep and rich as that of wine..."
Flavors Of Darjeeling
The growing season in Darjeeling is shorter than in other tea-growing regions. The monsoon (rain) periods in between harvests take a great part in the outcome of the crop. There are four 'flushes' (or growths) each year including in-between growth during the rain period in late Summer. Those teas are mostly used for inexpensive blends. First Flush - picked in February to early April from only the youngest, smallest leaves, is the very first harvest each year; the flavor is lightly floral, bright and crisp. The overall production is very small and there is a high demand around the world for this prestigious "Queen of the Teas". Second Flush - picked from May to June, produces a dark amber liquor with heady, fruity character and nutty notes. Autumnal - harvested in October and November is a very dark, smooth tea with fall fruit and woody characteristics.
Each Darjeeling (and Assam) estate produces several 'lots' of tea every year. At the beginning of First Flush season, the first 'lot' produced receives the invoice number DJ 1. From then on, each following lot is numbered in sequence, finishing at the end Autumnal season with a number as high as DJ 500, depending on the size of the tea estate. Each lot has its unique characteristics, for the leaf material of one particular day varies from the next, and areas of a garden will have slight differences in taste.
Introducing Darjeeling Flush from Teesta Valley
This year we found that many samples of First Flush that we tasted from different estates were lacking the fine characteristics that we usually get so excited about. After cupping many teas we decided to offer a Darjeeling from the Teesta Valley Estate. This tea was grown on the steep slopes of Darjeeling and picked early in the spring of 2009. The flavor is round with a pleasing floral character.
"In Pursuit of Tea is your guide to the finest hand-crafted tea from around the world."
We explore remote regions in search of extraordinary teas, which we enjoy with tea drinkers and friends who share our passion." -- In Pursuit of Tea
In Pursuit of Tea
Start with your favorite spring or filtered water. Preheat the teaware. Use a large strainer basket to allow the leaves to open and release their flavor.
212 F (boiling)
3g / 6 oz serving = 1 rounded teaspoon
Play with the amount of tea, the water temperature, and steeping time to re-steep - rely on taste, not color. Get to know the tea!
For more about brewing tea, visit our
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