Even as we await the arrival of Darjeeling First Flush 2015, with folded hands, praying for the weather gods to show kindness upon the harvest of spring, we want to pay tribute and say farewell to our First Flush tea from last year. Today, we drank our last cup of Phoobsering 2014 with a little sadness and much anticipation of what this year's season will bring.*
The smell of the dry leaf is still sharply “green” and peppery. Darjeeling first flush tea, lightly oxidized as they are, tend to lose their delicate flavor after the first year. Only good ones retain their character. Kindly note that although Darjeeling first flush is a lightly-to-mid oxidized tea, it is conventionally regarded as a black tea. (To read more about Darjeeling first flush click here.)
The infused small chinary leaves of Phoobsering carry a sweet and cool, almost nectar-like delicate aroma. The fragrance is so pure that it reminds me of a fresh mountain zephyr that blows over pristine ridges carrying with it all the enchanting smells of the Himalaya.
The cup has a light floral fragrance, recalling champa, the local magnolia flower. The liquor is smooth, and it has a touch of astringency. The latter is responsible for that classic first flush “crispness” that beautifully complements the delicacy of the tea.
It is not a dramatic tea. No blooming flowers or leaves unfurling like unending ribbons that dazzle the eye and sweep you off your feet. Darjeeling is more about elegance than drama. It has a style so uniquely its own.
An exquisite aftertaste lingers, even long after we have finished the tea. Like the memory of a kiss.
PS: This cup also marks our Darjeeling First Flush 2014 as a sold out season! Thank you to all those who bought this tea. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.