Origin: Darjeeling, India
Infusion Suggestion: 190°F, 3min
Certifications: USDA Organic, Biodynamic Certified
Caffeine Level: Medium
Tasting notes: Tart Ripening Fruits
Darjeeling 2ndt Flush: With its signature fruity flavor notes, this Darjeeling summer tea is distinctive to the region.
Darjeeling second flush is harvested in June and characterized by a muscatel taste unique to Darjeeling teas. Grown in an ecologically diverse biodynamic tea garden, these deep amber teas carry the sweet underlying flavors of ripening fruit.
Taste: One will often hear of Darjeeling Second Flush described as “muscatel” – a taste characterized by a distinctive, fruit-like finish. This elusive flavor is hard to pin point even for expert tea tasters. But everyone seems to agree that the more second flush you drink, the better you will be at identifying it.
Production: Second Flush is picked just before the monsoons in June. In the heat of the summer, tea plantations attract a host of insects including green flies called jassids and thrips. It is thought that these insects initiate the production of terpene in the tea leaves. When processed, the teas produce a unique taste characterized as “muscatel”.
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.
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.
Ten of us were sampling and choosing our favorite Young Mountain Teas. First of all, we liked the way this tea looked, like a black tea should. We found it to be the most flavorful and a second pot was requested. Just a tiny bit of sweetener was added (people used either German rock sugar, white sugar, or artificial sweetener), to help bring out the flavor.