Woke up to a wet and misty morning here in Rochester, NY. As I looked outside, in a moment I was transported back to the Darjeeling hills where half the year it is wet and misty. Saw the rhododendron in our neighbor's garden and that reminded me even more of Darjeeling. During spring the upper reaches of the hills are alive with gurans - as rhododendrons are called locally. It is a sight that will cheer even the most disconsolate heart.
The tradition of cold brewing tea is old. It is believed to have originated in Japan, where people just poured cold water over tea in a pitcher that was left to sit for hours in the coolest part of the house. The resultant brew was cool, smooth, full of flavor and very little bitterness.
One common question among Darjeeling tea lovers is why does the first flush look so green? Although it is classified as black tea, the appearance of dry Darjeeling first flush tea can make one mistake it for a green tea.
After what is always an anxious wait, the first batch of our first flush samples for 2013 finally arrived from Darjeeling. Thanks to modern transportation samples now take under a week to arrive from the gardens of Darjeeling! It's incredible. Think how long the wait must have been not too long ago when couriers were still rudimentary and expensive. We're lucky indeed!
Most of Darjeeling’s popular teas are categorized as first or second flush teas. While the terms sound like part of the tea’s unending and cryptic lexicon, they are actually easy to explain and understand. And for once, this argot is handy when it comes to buying tea.