Recognisable for its woody, cooked fruit notes, this second-flush premium tea reveals a rich honey quality in the mouth. A very fine Darjeeling, typical of the summer season.
Each of the four annual Darjeeling harvests – spring (March-April), summer (May-June), monsoon (July-August) and autumn (October-November) – has its own characteristic tasting profile. The summer harvest, or second flush, which takes place during the hot season before the monsoon, is when production levels are at their highest.
In terms of processing the leaves, the method is similar to that used for the spring harvest, except that the oxidisation of the leaves is more pronounced. Combined with the climatic factors, this produces a brown liquor in the cup, with opulent, woody, fruity aromas.
While most Darjeeling is sold as a blend under the generic name “Darjeeling”, the best are sourced directly from plantations and are not blended, like this very fine Darjeeling from Teesta Valley. This latter type will be named after their origins, along with their grade and sometimes additional information such as the name of the main cultivar, or variety, and batch number.
François-Xavier Delmas' choice:
“According to everyone who came with me to Darjeeling, this is the most beautiful plantation they’ve ever seen. I often arrive there on foot; I get the driver to drop me off a bit higher up, near Gielle, then I walk for a good hour, taking in this magnificent landscape at a slower pace.”
- Origin: Darjeeling, India
- Tea colour: black tea
- Appearance: small, evenly rolled leaves with slender buds
- Colours: olive green to brown
- Scents: a powerful, almond fragrance at the start, with a vegetal, burnt hint, and aromas of milk and fruit
Brewed leaves (infusion):
- Scents: nuts (almond, pistachio), vegetal aromas, steamed vegetables, wood, eucalyptus, herbs
- Colour: coppery
- Texture: a lovely astringency at the start
- Flavours: a delicate bitterness
- Aromas: cooked fruit (jam, stewed fruit), wood, honey, raw vegetal notes, herbs, a floral accent (geranium)
- Aromatic profile and length in the mouth: well-structured at the start, with wood and cooked fruit notes that develop harmoniously