Canton First Flush Darjeeling: origin and flavour
We tasted over twenty different First Flush Darjeelings, and this one really stood out from the crowd. It’s an unusual, exciting FFD that marries the classic floral, mineral flavour you’d expect with surprising notes of pistachio, rhubarb and spice. We’re big fans.
First Flush means the tea has been picked at the first – and most prized – harvest of the year. For Darjeelings, this period can range from early February to late April (ours was picked at the end of March). Leaves harvested during this period are usually more delicate and tender in nature, producing a fresh, floral and more mineral flavour than those picked later in the year. For that reason, First Flush Darjeelings are often called the “champagne” of the tea world.
The Selimbong Tea Garden’s organic and biodynamic farming techniques also contribute to the tea’s unique terroir, creating unexpected but utterly delicious flavours of fruit, nut and spice.
The Selimbong Tea Garden is world-renowned for high grade teas and has won the prestigious Tea Board of India Quality Award. Founded in 1860, it was a conventional (non-organic) garden until it was taken over by the Tea Promoters India (TPI) group in 1995 and converted to organic. TPI is a family-run organisation that specialises in transforming unsuccessful tea farms into organic farms with a strong social and environmental focus. It is now certified organic and fairtrade by FLO and Naturland, and is one of the only tea gardens in the world to be certified biodynamic by Demeter FR.
Ornamental and shade trees line the fields, and the tea bushes are intercropped with plants like guatemala, lemongrass, citronella, weeping love grass, napier, wild sunflower and many more. Fleets of rabbits, barking deer, armadillo and kalij (wild Himalayan black pheasant) roam the gardens, while the trees are filled with a dizzying array of different bird species. It’s truly nature in balance.
If you’d like to find out more about Darjeeling tea production, read our blog ‘Darjeeling Tea should only come from Darjeeling’.
We recommend brewing 3g at 90°C for 3 minutes. Buy Canton First Flush Darjeeling here.