Browse Darjeeling First Flush (53)
Read Reviews (40)
Brands of Darjeeling First Flush

Darjeeling First Flush

 
Last Updated: Mar. 14, 2014 

About Darjeeling First Flush

First flush Darjeeling tea often has a greener color, sometimes even as green as some green teas. Photo by Alex Zorach.
Darjeeling first flush or first flush Darjeeling tea designates Darjeeling tea that has been harvested at a specific time, immediately following spring rains.

Although technically classified as a black tea, first flush Darjeeling tea has often a lighter, often greenish color and can be much milder than most black teas. Many first flush Darjeeling teas are low in bitterness, but relatively high in astringency, and can have considerable natural sweetness.

They often have a pronounced floral aroma as well, and some have a "muscatel" aroma, suggesting muscat grapes. In many respects, these teas more closely resemble greener oolong teas in color, flavor, and aroma because the oxidation is less complete than in most black teas. However, they are usually considered distinct from proper Darjeeling oolongs.

A cup of tea with a light golden color
A brewed cup of first flush Darjeeling. Photo by David J. Fred, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5.
First flush Darjeeling is considered a highly desirable tea, and can be very expensive, although the range of prices is broad. Broken-leaf, single-estate first flush teas can sometimes be less expensive than whole-leaf, mixed-flush, blended Darjeeling. Because the qualities of each tea depend on the climate conditions of the particular year of harvest, the batches can vary considerably from year to year.

Brewing first flush teas

In contrast to darker black teas, which most companies recommend brewing with boiling water, some companies recommend brewing first flush Darjeeling teas, especially lighter batches, with water that has cooled somewhat from boiling, around 180°-190°F. Whether or not this is necessary can vary hugely from one tea to the next.

Niraj Lama of Happy Earth Tea, explains that high grades of Darjeeling first flush work exceptionally well with cold brewing, which he explains on a blog post on cold brewing Darjeeling.

Recent First Flush Reviews — RSS rss icon

87 / 100
Picture of Darjeeling de Triomphe Black Tea

I will likely revise this review after a few more times trying this tea. It seems high quality with a grassy quality, but I can’t decide how I feel about the bitter undertones. I generally am not a fan of bitter teas. To be fair, it might be a fault of my brewing. I do overall enjoy this tea, though, so long as it is...

Read Full Review
87 / 100

I loved this one.

No picture of this because unfortunately it was removed from Harney's catalogue before I posted my review.

The dry leaf of this smells wonderful, and unexpected. It smells more like an autumnal flush tea, with more malty notes and a sort of soft, rich, caramel smell. There are floral and caram...

Read Full Review
63 / 100
Picture of Arya Ruby Darjeeling Black Tea First Flush

I will always highly recommended Arya Ruby Darjeeling Black Tea to you as a great, refreshing brew – matching the high standards I’ve come to expect from Golden Tips Tea Co. Pvt. Ltd. following sampling their other teas.

Read Full Review
67 / 100
Picture of Arya Ruby Darjeeling Black Tea First Flush

One of the most atypical Darjeeling teas, tasting more to me like a white tea than a black, I found this was interesting, but not for me. I was disappointed in it for many of the same reasons I tend not to like silver needle white tea.

I've tried this same tea from a different seller, Happy Earth Tea, the 2014 harv...

Read Full Review
87 / 100
Picture of Castleton Moonlight Darjeeling Black Tea First Flush

The aroma of the dry leaves is, as expected, quite delicious to the nose, there is a strong muscatel presence, blending fresh juicy grapes and a hint of the more honey sweet raisins. Also fresh hay, a touch of peppery nasturtium leaves, and a bit of freshly crushed parsley at the finish giving the tea a neat herbaceous...

Read Full Review

Read More Reviews of First Flush (40) ...

Top Reviewers

RankUser#%
1Reviewer icon Alex Zorach1834
2Reviewer icon Brytta Sóþword48
3Reviewer icon Kelsey36
4Reviewer icon Amanda 24
5Reviewer icon Tuirgin24

Review 3 teas to get on this list!

Advertisement

Most-Rated First Flush

Picture of Puttabong, Darjeeling First Flush 2014.

Puttabong, Darjeeling First Flush 2014.

Brand:Happy Earth Tea
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
34
3 Ratings
Picture of Singbulli, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014

Singbulli, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014

Brand:Happy Earth Tea
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
57
3 Ratings
Picture of Darjeeling Vidyaranya Black Tea

Darjeeling Vidyaranya Black Tea

Brand:Teavana
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
57
3 Ratings
No image of this tea

Darjeeling de Triomphe Black Tea

Brand:Teavana
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
92
3 Ratings
Picture of Singbulli Darjeeling DJ41

Singbulli Darjeeling DJ41

Brand:Harney and Sons
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
63
3 Ratings

Top-Rated First Flush

No image of this tea

Darjeeling de Triomphe Black Tea

Brand:Teavana
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
92
3 Ratings
Picture of Singbulli Darjeeling DJ41

Singbulli Darjeeling DJ41

Brand:Harney and Sons
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
63
3 Ratings
Picture of Singbulli, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014

Singbulli, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014

Brand:Happy Earth Tea
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
57
3 Ratings
Picture of Darjeeling Vidyaranya Black Tea

Darjeeling Vidyaranya Black Tea

Brand:Teavana
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
57
3 Ratings
Picture of Puttabong, Darjeeling First Flush 2014.

Puttabong, Darjeeling First Flush 2014.

Brand:Happy Earth Tea
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
34
3 Ratings

Browse All Darjeeling First Flush (53)Brands of Darjeeling First Flush

FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblrPinterestGoogle+Patreon