“Darjeeling isn’t one of our best sellers,” says CEO Richard Rosenfeld. “And I’m fine with that, because it’s so high quality and expensive for us to source. We sell it simply because it’s such an incredible black tea.”
So, if we don’t want to sell much more Organic Darjeeling because it’s so expensive to source, then why write a blog post about it? Because: it really is that good, and we can’t help ourselves—if you haven’t tried Organic Darjeeling, you’re missing out.
Sourced from the mountainous region of Darjeeling, India (elevation varying from 2,000 – 8,000 feet), Darjeeling black tea is also one of the more interesting teas to learn about. The hilly terrain and cool mountain temperatures have an instant impact on the flavor of the tea itself. The light, arid soil mixed with cool winds generates a subtle astringency to the tea that you won’t find in a robust Organic Assam from Assam, India. Furthermore, the varied terrain from hillside to hillside creates differences in the amount of sunlight, wind, and soil quality for each tea “lot”. That means that Darjeeling tea from one hillside can taste incredibly different from the tea on a neighboring slope.
The First Flush
One can’t talk about Darjeeling tea without mentioning the term “first flush”. As one of the most prized crops of tea throughout the world, first flush Darjeelings are prized for their astringent, green flavors intermingled with the depth and robustness of black tea. But what is first flush, exactly?
“The region of Darjeeling gets cold during the winter, and no tea grows anywhere,” Richard says. “Temperatures start to change, and the two leaves and a bud of the tea plant open up, ‘flushing’ for the first time all season.”
After the first flush is plucked, there are occasional “bungee flushes” that then occur. A smaller growth of two leaves and a bud that appear somewhere in between the first and second flush. Bungee flushes are actually a lesser sought tea, lacking the complexity that Darjeeling is famed for.
Second flush Darjeeling tea, however, is certainly something to be prized. Noticeably darker and more “black” than first flush Darjeeling, second flushes still offer classic Darjeeling flavor, but with less of a green flavor, and more of the depth commonly associated with great black tea.
Two Leaves and a Bud’s Organic Darjeeling
So, what indeed makes two leaves and a bud’s Organic Darjeeling Black Tea so special? Says Richard:
“This is first flush Darjeeling that we put into a tea sachet. It might be the best bagged Darjeeling on the planet—it’s as green as black tea can get.”
You’ll experience what our Organic Darjeeling tea is all about the moment you give it a steep. Your palate will instantly be met by notes of green tea—you almost wonder if this is a black tea you’re drinking. From there, you’ll experience a sharp (but pleasant) string of astringency, finished by the deep, robust notes of black tea. These flavors are as close to classic Darjeeling first flush as you can get with a tea sachet.
Are you a two leaves and a bud Darjeeling fan? If so, what do you like most about it?