Darjeeling Tea is harvested in four cycles a year, commonly referred to as First Flush, Second Flush, Summer Flush and Autumnal Flush.
First Flush is plucked and produced from March-April. The liquor from the young leaves is light colored with a delicate floral flavor. A lot of tea of this period also has a touch of astringency.
Second Flush is plucked and produced from May-June, harvested just before the heavy monsoon rains begin to fall in the mountains. The color and body of the liquor is richer, and has a more fruity character. It is the tea from this season that has carries the famous muscatel flavor found in Darjeeling.
Summer Flush or “Rains Tea” is produced from July-September, the leaves yield a strong brew with a coppery feel. This tea is used mostly for blends.
Autumn Flush is plucked and produced from October-November just after the monsoons have subsided. The brew turns light coppery while the liquors take on a delicate character.
A quick rinse of the tea leaf once before making a cup can reduce the caffeine content of the tea. True or false?
If you are a caffeine-sensitive person who loves tea, you might often have been offered this work-around - rinse the leaves for a quick 30 seconds, and only then use the leaf to make your cup.
Darjeeling tea, like all other teas, possess beneficial catechins and flavonoids that make up the antioxidants in tea. Black, oolong, green and white teas all possess powerful antioxidants which offer protective and curative properties.