Darjeeling First Flush Muscatel Valley 2017
Brew with fresh boiling water and infuse for 3 to 5 minutes
This exquisite Darjeeling 1st Flush tea comes from the Muscatel Valley Tea Estate. 1st Flush Teas are picked between February to mid-April, producing some of the finest quality and most sought-after blends of all the flushes. With its dark green leaf and rich golden liquor, Darjeeling 1st Flush Muscatel Valley has a top-quality character, thus earning its place as an incredibly popular Darjeeling First Flush tea.
Just like most other plants, the tea bushes found in Darjeeling go through periods of growth and then dormancy, varying with the location from where it is grown. A ‘Flush’ refers to the particular period that the tea leaves were picked, with First Flush Teas recognised as the most popular due to their delicate, floral, muscatel flavours. The district of Darjeeling itself plays an integral part in the growing cycle of the tea plant, with its frequent storms providing the leaves with much-needed moisture. Yet this region holds a secret – for much of its produce is not originally native to India at all!
In fact, most of Darjeeling’s tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis Sinensis plant – a Chinese variant – as opposed to the Indian Camellia Sinensis Assamica. These Chinese plants have since acclimatised to the high elevation and rugged terrain of Darjeeling and now thrive throughout the landscape. Many specialists also consider that a sizeable proportion of produce is now harvested from China-India hybrid plants found nowhere else in the world.
Nearly 200 years ago, a renowned Scottish explorer and botanist by the name of Robert Fortune, smuggled tea seeds out of China and brought them to Darjeeling. However, it would not be until the mid-19th Century that English traders began to look to India for their tea exports as tensions grew between the British Empire and China – Britain’s sole supplier of the time. Soon, the mass-production of Darjeeling tea saw the area expand from a small hamlet nestled within the Himalayas to an industrial asset of 39 plantations of 1,000 acres producing over 50,000 Kilos of tea!
This was just the beginning for the district, which today boasts around 80 tea estates which have been accorded the status for its produce as ‘Darjeeling tea’ by the Tea Board of India. Despite this, Darjeeling is only capable of producing approximately 1% on India’s total tea output! Stretching between high mountain ridges and deep mountain valleys, Darjeeling can often be challenging terrain to access, perhaps accounting for such a low percentage in India’s tea industry. Still, Darjeeling Tea is now known around the world – and our very own Darjeeling 1st Flush Muscatel Valley is no exception!
Type of Tea: Loose Leaf Darjeeling Black tea.
Origin: The Darjeeling District, Northern India.
Brewing Instructions: Brew using freshly boiled water and infuse for 3 to 5 minutes.
How to Serve: This beverage is best served as it is, although lemon can be considered as an optional extra if you are looking for an interesting balance.
Tasting Notes: Surprisingly perfect for a hot summer’s afternoon, our Darjeeling First Flush Muscatel Valley has delicate grassy notes with smooth yet sweet undertones and a refreshing aftertaste.
Colour in Cup: Golden Liquor, light in tone.
Health Benefits: Darjeeling First Flush teas are said to contain the most catechins (a greatly beneficial antioxidant) L-theanine (a stimulant), and caffeine out of any other flush. Scientific Studies have likewise uncovered correlations between Darjeeling First Flush consumption and incredible Cardiovascular benefits. Furthermore, other ongoing studies believe that Darjeeling First Flush tea may have compounds that could increase the density of bones in the body.
Health PointsHydration, Refreshing, Relaxing
Time of DayBreakfast, Lunchtime, Afternoon