Brewing happiness one cup at a time.

Darjeeling First Flush 2016 report


by Niraj Lama April 05, 2016 0 Comments

As the tea world waits with bated breath the first harvest of the year, generally known as first flush, Darjeeling is reporting a normal harvest that is currently on in full swing. After a slow start due to less than normal rain for most of March, gardens are reporting a much better harvest since the rains came down at the end of the month.

Most excitingly, the quality of the tea is reported to be “very good” this year. We ourselves have not yet sampled any Darjeelings. We wait for the crops from higher elevations where the production schedule runs behind majority of the gardens. At the higher elevations it is only now that the first flush production has begun in earnest.

Darjeeling first flush

As we eagerly await our first samples, there is a bit of sad news to report. On 31 March - the day when most of the tea gardens received the much needed rainfall - Darjeeling town and its neighboring tea gardens were struck by a blistering hailstorm. It wiped out the tea bushes in Arya tea estate, which is located right below Darjeeling town, Happy Valley and few more tea estates.

The hailstorm was unusually heavy. The whole place was under a pile of at least 4 inches of hailstones! For days our Facebook feed was filled with images of the hailstones posted by friends back in Darjeeling. We have never seen anything like that before! (Lot of think about in this Earth Month.)

Darjeeling tea

The timing for the storm could not have been worse. It happened just as the production of Arya Ruby, one of our most popular Darjeeling offerings, was about to start. The damage in the garden is said to be so severe that there is expected to be no production until the second flush. The bushes there are described as “resembling brooms.”  We are trying hard to see if we can snag any of the March harvest.

For our Ruby fans, we know it will be hard not to have your favorite cuppa this season. Ruby has such a unique flavor that it will be hard to substitute it with any other tea. But maybe this is an opportunity for you to try some of our other great teas! Until the second flush arrives that is.      

Fortunately, most of the Darjeeling gardens were spared from the devastation. And we cannot wait to try them. We expect to offer some of our first selections by the end of April.

Image of hailstones in Darjeeling town, courtesy: www.indiangorkhas.in




Niraj Lama
Niraj Lama

Author




Also in Blog

The Teagirl of Hummingbird Lane
The Teagirl of Hummingbird Lane

by Niraj Lama August 09, 2017 0 Comments

In the Teagirl of the Hummingbird Lane, New York Times best selling novelist, Lisa See, pairs an epic Chinese tale of tragedy and triumph with one of the most intriguing type of tea, puerh. Even if you are not a tea drinker the story is compelling; but if you are one, then the pleasure of this book is definitely multi-layered.

Read More

Second Flush 2017 is here!
Second Flush 2017 is here!

by Niraj Lama July 27, 2017 0 Comments

We are happy to announce the arrival of some exceptional second flush teas from the organic tea estate of Jun Chiyabari, Nepal. We have some rare offerings - hand-crafted micro-batches - that won't disappoint.

Read More

Second Flush 2017 plans
Second Flush 2017 plans

by Niraj Lama July 19, 2017 0 Comments

We have heard the ominous words from Darjeeling – there is going to be no second flush (summer harvest) this year. We were hoping hard that somehow the political troubles that have engulfed Darjeeling since early June would ease off and second flush production would resume. But last week we heard from our partner tea gardens in Darjeeling and they gave us the dreaded news.

Read More