Extremely popular and exquisitely flavored Darjeeling tea is produced in the foothills of snowcapped Himalayan range at an elevation of around 750 to 2000 meters. Wonderful combination of fertile soil, cool climate, moist wet air, evenly sloped terrain and incessant rainfall caters the unique “muscatel” flavor to Darjeeling blends. FLUSH – The Harvest Time When you talk about the flavor of Darjeeling blends, you are expected to have a clear notion of the different harvesting times of Darjeeling tea. Time of harvest, commonly called ‘Flushes’ has significant effect on flavor profile of this beverage. It has a direct relation with the time span bio-chemical compounds require for producing the distinct aroma and flavor of Darjeeling brews. Do you know that tea leaves of the same soil, garden, elevation and even topography can vary vastly in flavor profile? Yes, they really do… It is simply because the leaves are plucked at different seasons. Comparing Teas according to Flushes In Darjeeling, there are three major tea flushes and two minor flushes. FIRST FLUSH – from late February to May Teas of this season produce bright, clear and light colored liquor having lively character and floral fragrance. Darjeeling First flush teas are worldwide popular for their fragile flavors, revitalizing taste and delicate body. SECOND FLUSH – from June to middle of August Brew obtained from the leaves of this flush has strong flavor and dark in color. Muscatel fruity flavor tastes much like sweet grapes is the unique feature of Darjeeling blends of this flush. This second flush tea when steeped will acquire amber color. THIRD FLUSH OR AUTUMN FLUSH – from October to November A cup of liquor of this flush will give you light flavored, full-bodied texture and dark coppery color brew. Third Flush Darjeeling has a sparkling and delicate character. This rich and strong tea is liked by many. Now, let’s find out the minor flushes –
  1. In-between flush which comes between the first and second season of harvest
  2. Monsoon flush coming between second and third flush
So, with difference in flushes, you will get varied flavors of the same Darjeeling tea. Which is the priciest flush? Generally, you will find that first flush Darjeeling blends are costlier owing to its lively character and bright liquor. High price of Darjeeling during this flush is because their production is lesser than the demand and since people’s want surpasses production, their price inevitably rise. Connoisseurs as well as fanatics of Darjeeling tea are even ready to shell out a few bucks more for premium first and second flush blends. Are you one of them?