Darjeeling 1st Flush: An explosively aromatic tea made from the young tea leaves of Darjeeling's first biodynamic garden.
Commonly referred to as the “Champagne of Teas”, Darjeeling First Flush is the inaugural harvest from the area’s mountainside slopes. Grown in an ecologically diverse biodynamic tea garden, these teas capture the perfume-like fragrance distinctive to the region.
Taste: Darjeeling First Flush is a highly prized tea, distinctly aromatic and floral.
Production: The first flush is picked from March through April and only the new, most tender parts of the plant are plucked. The tea produced in this window is explosively aromatic, light and fresh, but very quick to fade. These teas are withered and rolled, and tend to be only partially oxidized before drying to preserve their greenish color and fresh taste.
Region: Running along Nepal’s Eastern Border, the mountainous area of Darjeeling is a confluence of cultures - home to Tibetans, Nepalese and Indians alike. “Darjeeling” actually means “Land of the Rolling Thunder” in Tibetan. Under colonialism, the mild mountain temperatures made Darjeeling a perfect retreat for British soldiers, with stunning views of Kangchenjunga from the hillsides, the world’s third highest peak.
Darjeeling’s high elevation means the tea leaves are smaller and slower to grow. Therefore, producers in the area focused on defining the region by quality, and have built a tea tradition that fetch some of the highest prices in the world.
Growers: Makaibari has led the way in progressive socially minded plantation practices. Through developing a homestay program and additional eco-tourism activities, workers add diversified income streams to their tea related work.
Impact: Through biodynamic and permaculture farming practices, the ecological diversity of Makaibari makes it one of the healthiest and most resilient tea gardens in Darjeeling. The abundance of plant and animal species create healthy soils, disease resistance in the plants, and a stratified root structure that retains water and minimizes landslides. Makaibari is also a frontrunner creating fair working conditions in the tea industry, holding the title as the first tea estate in the world to become fair trade certified.