2018 Darjeeling Glenburn Estate 1st Flush black tea

Darjeeling 2018 1st Flush Glenburn Tea Estate


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Black Tea


Glenburn Tea Estate 1st Flush


Appearance: mixed leaf colors from russets, to greens to silver. Consistent, well-shaped, whole leaf.
Grade: FTGFOP 1
Cultivar: China tea bush varietal leaf
Oxidation: approximately 70% oxidation
Wither: medium wither
Flavor:  bright first flush with just a touch of the ‘European green’ style. Its flavor is brisk and dry, yet subtle on the palate, with a light stone fruit aftertaste
Aroma: clean, bright flowery aroma with hints of fresh hay and stone fruit
Liquor: light yellow-gold-green colored liquor


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

2018 1st Flush (March)

This tea was harvested at the earliest point of the plucking season in Darjeeling and it is a special, limited production early spring tea. One might look at this tea as a pre-1st flush tea. Teas in this category do not meet standard sieve sizes for the leaf, so they are not graded as customary for Darjeelings but are given distinguishing names such as Peach Blossom which represent their unique taste characteristics. They are also sold in specific, small lots, in this case EX-15, which is often sold to the same tea specialists 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 before the busy crush of the main spring harvest begins.

Use 1 Tablespoon (2-3 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 is made using China tea bush varietal leaf, and is easy to over-steep. Try steeping it twice, first for 90 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.)

This early-harvest pluck is quite voluminous so it needs a generous measure if determined by volume measure rather than by weight. The 1 Tablespoon in our measurement will yield approx. 2.5 grams of leaf by weight.

Our goal this year was to procure 1st Flush Darjeelings with a softer, less astringent flavor profile. A little less of the biting ‘green’ taste while maintaining the true, crisp presence of distinctive Darjeeling flavor was what we had in mind. We think our Darjeeling choices for 2016 reflect this style very nicely.


Mary Lou and Bob selected Tea Trekker’s 1st Flush and 2nd Flush Darjeelings for 2016 a little late this year due to the weather-delayed harvest, and those deliveries arrived by air courier during the peak of the harvest.


Tea Trekker has sold out of most our Darjeeling selections for the 2016 season at this time. We do have a supply of our two excellent Selim Hill 1st Flush manufactures and some of our 1st Flush special harvest tea from Glenburn Estate.


All of the 2nd Flush Darjeelings for 2016 are sold out. We do not expect to receive any 2016 Autumnal Pluck teas due to the general lack of quality this year, and we will likely wait until the 2017 harvest to procure more Darjeeling of any type, as the recent harvest is not expected to ‘hold’ very well.


If you are looking for a clean, elegant Himalaya black tea to substitute for 2nd Flush Darjeeling, we recommend our Sikkim or the Nepal High Himalaya.

This 2018 Glenburn Tea Estate 1st Flush Darjeeling tea was plucked in April. It is a mid-season specialty tea with a limited production. The leaf is plucked by the ‘first string’ tea workers, who are carefully harvesting the premium crop of leaf that will be the basis of the season’s (therefore the year’s) economy for the estate.

The aroma is slightly flowery, but mostly brisk, with hints of fresh hay and herbs. Its flavor is forthright but sweet, not subtle on the palate, but not astringent either. It is in many ways the quintessential 1st Flush Darjeeling: flavorful and deeply full-bodied, with the penetrating flavor for which 1st Flush Darjeelings are famous, balances with the clean, brisk style that marks a 1st Flush manufacture. It is truly delicious!

Our 2018 Glenburn Tea Estate 1st Flush Darjeeling selection is from a section of the tea garden that still maintains old China tea bush varietals. The yield from this section is low but the tea has excellent flavor. The weather conditions bring out the best flavor from these tea bushes in the spring.

Glenburn Tea Estate is small – the total acerage of the estate is about 1,800 acres, of which only 704 acres is cultivated for tea. Nevertheless, the estate produces on average 125,000 kilo of tea a year during the 4-seasons of production. Forest reserves, rivers and cool Himalaya air contribute to the unique taste of Glenburn Darjeeling.

The Glenburn Tea Estate is located in the Glenburn Valley at an altitude of approximately 3,200 feet. The tea garden is about 3 hours from the Bagdogra airport. The journey to the estate follows the course of the River Teesta ( take a left at the bridge or you will arrive in Sikkim)  before the climb up towards Darjeeling, and then the drive down into the Glenburn valley.