About Tea Flushes
Tea is harvested at various times of the year. The term associated with this in the context of Indian tea, especially Darjeeling, is ‘flush’. There are four major and two in-between flushes in India: spring, summer, autumn, winter are the main harvests with an intermediate flush occurring between spring and summer, and again, between summer and autumn.
First Flush or Spring Flush
The first harvest of the year the leaves and buds are picked starting February, following the spring monsoons. The tea produced at this time have a very delicate flavor profile, rich aroma, and light body. Darjeeling first flush teas are prized throughout the world, they are called the Champagne of teas cause of there high grade.
An in-between flush occurs post the first flush and prior to the second, around late April and early May.
Second Flush or Summer Flush
This takes place in June. Darjeeling’s summer flush black teas have a remarkable and unique quality, the muscatel aroma. The term “muscatel” is used to denote a sweet palate note that is associated with Muscat grapes. Although Darjeeling second flush teas are quite delicious, Assam second flush teas are a close second, with their bold body and strong flavors.
As the name suggests, monsoon flush teas are picked after the rains that follow summer. The leaves are more mature by this time and the tea is therefore strong-bodied. Monsoon flush teas from Assam and Darjeeling are processed through CTC method that are normally used in blends.
This flush marks the final harvest of the year in Darjeeling, around late October-early November. These teas still have an excellent flavor profile, they possess a strong aromatic profile, notable floral notes, and a full, rich body.
These teas are harvested from December to January. Quite the undiscovered treasure the teas picked during this time are intensely aromatic with sweet floral notes. These light-bodied beauties also bare a lovely texture.