2018 Darjeeling Glenburn Estate Moonshine black tea

Darjeeling 2018 1st Flush (pre-) Glenburn Tea Estate ‘Moonshine’


Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

Black Tea


Glenburn Tea Estate


Moonshine  #EX-25
mixed leaf colors from russets, to greens to silver. Consistent, well-shaped, light whole leaf.
Cultivar: China tea bush varietal leaf
Oxidation: approximately 70% oxidation
Wither: medium wither
Flavor:  bright, pre-1st Flush leaf with just a little of the modern European ‘green’ flavor profile. Its flavor is delicate and sweet, yet subtle on the palate, with a lightly floral warmth and hints of soft stone fruit.
Aroma: clean, bright flowery aroma with hints of fresh grass and herbs
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 with the customary designations used for Darjeeling 1st Flush teas but are given distinguishing names such as ‘Moonshine’ or ‘Peach Blossom’ which represent their unique taste characteristics or are simply fanciful. They are also sold in specific, small lots, in this case EX-25, 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 again this year was to procure more variety in 1st Flush Darjeeling teas than we formerly offered ‘back in the old days’. The weather seemed to agree and has helped to produce many delicious teas for 2018. We will have Darjeeling teas with a softer, less astringent flavor profile, and also ones in the more modern, ‘European’ style. So whatever style you prefer – or if you enjoy them all – this is a great year for tea, and Darjeeling in particular. 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 2018 pretty much at the normal time of the spring, and those deliveries have been arriving by air courier and by surface transport. Check the listings regularly for new additions, and also for the 2nd Flush teas in July!

This year, Tea Trekker’s Moonshine EX- 25 Darjeeling tea was plucked on the 16th of March. It is an early season specialty tea with a limited production of roughly 10-15 kilos per day for only a few days. These early season teas (actually pre-1st flush) require the skill of the most experienced tea pickers and are the most expressive examples of the terroir of any tea garden. Every plucking session, the pickers must explore each nook and cranny of the garden in order to find the leaf that has emerged from the recently-dormant tea bush, picking only the most perfect emerging buds and leaves. When the weather is finicky, (as it has been) it can be quite a challenge to keep up with the unpredictable emergence of new leaf.

The aroma is lightly flowery (similar to the 2016 harvest season but much more focused than either that vintage or last year’s harvest) breezy with hints of fresh grass and green herbs. Its flavor is concentrated and mouthfeel honey-rich, yet subtle on the palate, with a lightly floral warmth and hints of ripe stone fruit in aroma.

Our 2018 Moonshine tea is from a section of the tea garden that still maintains old China tea bush varietals. The yields from this section are low but the tea has excellent flavor. The local weather conditions bring out the best flavor from these tea bushes in the spring, especially this year, as 2018 has started out with ample rainfall and the temperatures persisting to be cool, which encourages slow emergence of the bud. “EX” lots of tea are difficult to obtain in today’s competitive global tea market, so we are quite pleased to have this tea again for 2018!

Glenburn Tea Estate is small – the total acreage 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 journey 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.