Darjeeling tea is sometimes known as “the champagne of teas” due to its delicate taste and high quality. Darjeeling, region in India, is well known for tea and is home to over 80 tea estates, including Monteviot estate. Found in the Himalayan mountain region in West Bengal, Monteviot estate is home to high quality and consistently wonderful, organic tea. With Darjeeling teas, there are four different harvests throughout the year. Each harvest is called a flush and each flush produces a different flavor and profile of tea.
2017 Monteviot First Flush Darjeeling
Sitting on the counter of the tea lounge, is a bamboo box filled with a very special Darjeeling tea. The box contains 2017 First Flush Darjeeling black tea, which is both flavorful and smooth. This teas harvest, known as the first flush, refers to the first, summer harvest of the year. As stated before, each flush provides a different flavor with the first and second flushes being the most sought after. This year has been tough for Darjeeling tea as the first flush was almost unavailable due to droughts in the region. However luckily for tea lovers, the skies opened and provided Darjeeling with good rainfall to harvest a smaller batch of it’s high quality tea.
Unfortunately, however, t his year political unrest has prevented a 2017 second flush from production. Strikes and demonstrations have occurred throughout the area this year. The conflict surrounds a desire for a separate homeland for the majority Gurkha community in the area. Business within the area including tea production has stopped, with many workers joining in the strike. Many say that even if tea production was to begin it would take weeks for the tea to be ready. Weeding, pruning, and harvesting the delicate leaves takes a lot of time that unfortunately the time sensitive tea plants do not have.
It is unfortunate we will not see a second flush this year, however Short and Stout still has a limited amount of the first flush available in the lounge to take home or to enjoy a pot in the lounge. Come in and try it before it is gone for good!