- More of This Tea Should Arrive in mid-June 2020 - 2020 Darjeeling Upper Fagu Tea Estate 1st Flush black tea

Darjeeling 2020 1st Flush Upper Fagu Tea Estate

$30.00

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– More of This Tea Should Arrive in mid-June 2020 –

 

Black Tea

 

Upper Fagu Tea Estate
2020 1st Flush

 

Manufacture:  Orthodox
Grade
: 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 leaf color within the russet family. Consistent, well-shaped, whole leaf.
Flavor:  Smooth, creamy first flush. Its flavor is slightly brisk, nutty, and dry, and bold on the palate
Aroma: clean, bright aroma with hints of fresh hay and stone fruit
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 1st Flush (early-to-mid March )

This tea was harvested as a special, limited production, early-to-mid-spring 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 early spring 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 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.
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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, 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 are 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.

 

Bob 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 were slated to travel by air courier to arrive only slightly ‘late’. Replacement inventory and new additions will be added during the season, and the 2nd Flush teas are expected to be quite good this year!

 – Another shipment of this tea should arrive in mid-June –

This 2020 1st Flush Darjeeling tea from the Upper Fagu Tea Estate was plucked just at the classic earliest time for this sub-section of the Darjeeling ‘Hills” this year: mid-March. So this year it is chronologically a perfect example of the genre of specialty, early-spring-plucked black tea. Due to its limited production, the leaf was plucked by the ‘first string’ of 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.

We are happy to report that we were able to source this very special tea prior to the lockdown in India, that took effect just after this manufacture was completed on the 20th of March…and now this first tea of 2020 is here… This is very exciting!

The aroma is slightly dry, and mostly brisk, with hints of fresh hay and the lighter culinary herbs. 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 1st Flush Darjeeling: flavorful and deeply full-bodied, with the penetrating flavor for which 1st Flush Darjeelings are famous. There are influences of nut flavors, especially filberts and brazil nut, stalk celery, roasted root vegetables, and it has a creamy body. There is a smoothness and rich character to the steeped tea that not all 1st Flush teas show. It is a truly delicious addition to whatever our selection of teas ends up being this year!

Our 2020 Upper Fagu Tea Estate 1st 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 in the spring. These bushes contribute remarkable depth of flavor to the overall style of the Upper Fagu 1st 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 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.