Announcing Our 2018 First Flush Darjeeling

The Republic of Tea is thrilled to announce the release of our 2018 First Flush Darjeeling Tea. Plucked from the lush, picturesque Thurbo Tea Garden in West Bengal, India, this exclusive tea was specially selected by our Minister of Leaves, and chosen for its exceptional quality and superior flavor.

Only available in limited quantities, this premium tea will make for a fine addition to any tea aficionado’s collection. For those not familiar with First Flush Darjeeling, allow us to explain what makes this such a noteworthy and unique tea.

What is First Flush Darjeeling Tea?

There are two primary factors that contribute to making First Flush Darjeeling such a special variety of tea: 1) the area where it is grown, and 2) the time of year when it is harvested.

Certified Darjeeling Tea

According to the Tea Board of India, in order for a tea to qualify as true “Darjeeling,” it must be cultivated, grown, and harvested within a very specific region of India, with restrictions on growing altitude and tea bush type.

Nestled against the cool, lush, high-elevation Himalayan mountain ranges of northeastern India, these tea gardens produce some of the most prized teas around the globe. The rugged landscape gives the tea its delicate, musky-sweet flavor with lightly floral notes – a flavor unlike that of any other tea in the world.

And yet, production of these tea estates accounts for just one percent of India’s total tea output. In fact, only 87 tea gardens in the world are authorized to label their tea as authentic Darjeeling.

It’s no wonder then that Darjeeling has developed a reputation for being one of the world’s most exclusive teas; in fact, because of its strict growing standards and distinctive flavor, many tea connoisseurs actually consider Darjeeling to be the “champagne of tea.”

But much like its sparkling wine counterpart, there are many teas on the market that claim to be authentic “Darjeeling,” yet do not actually come from the authorized growing region. True 100% Darjeeling tea will always be certified by the Tea Board of India, and the difference shows in the flavor and aroma.

First Flush Tea

Equally important to understanding where Darjeeling is harvested is understanding the question of when. With every growing season, there are multiple “Flushes,” or periods when the leaves are plucked.

“First Flush” refers to the very first harvest of the season, during early spring. At this time, the tea leaves are brand new and extremely tender. Plucked in the combination of two leaves and a bud, the First Flush yields tea that is exceptionally fresh, delicate, and pure, with a brisk floral flavor.

In fact, many believe that this is the finest cup of tea that the Camellia sinensis plant is capable of producing. But the First Flush harvest window is very short, and once it’s over, every subsequent flush will yield tea leaves with a different flavor and aroma. For instance, the Second Flush tends to produce mature leaves with a more full-bodied, fruity flavor.

To preserve the young, fresh flavor of First Flush tea leaves, minimal oxidation and processing takes place. This means that when the tea is brewed, it will have a very light golden color.

About Our First Flush Darjeeling

The Republic of Tea has sourced this year’s First Flush Darjeeling from Thurbo Tea Estate, located in the lush, idyllic Mirik Valley. The garden was first established in 1872, and is surrounded by the hills and peaks of the mighty Himalayas, as well peaceful rivers, orchards, and small farms.

Shady and cool, the climate here is ideal for growing Darjeeling tea leaves with unmatched quality. This year’s spring rains awakened the brand new buds, readying them for First Flush harvest, processing, and air-freight transport to the United States.

With limited quantities available, The Republic of Tea is honored to share this exclusive, freshly-plucked tea with our Citizens. The 2018 First Flush Darjeeling has a beautifully gentle, sweet flavor with subtle floral and muscatel notes, and a light color in the cup. As always, it is certified by the Tea Board of India.

Sipping this tea is the ultimate one-of-a-kind tea experience – not just for the exceptional quality, but because no two Darjeeling harvests will ever yield the same flavors and aromas. Once this year’s batch is gone, it will never be available again.

Purchase our limited edition 2018 First Flush Darjeeling Tea now!