Teas from Darjeeling are like the wines from the Champagne district of France - extraordinaire’. “Tea without the name Darjeeling is like French wine without the prestige of Champagne”. Darjeeling has a unique tea growing pattern. After a period of dormancy during winter, tea plucking starts with the arrival of the first spring showers starting from the end of March thru April. This is the first flush. Teas produced during this period tend to have a somewhat greenish cup but yet with superb taste and flavor. The muscatel character varies according to the estate from where the teas are.
After the arrival of the spring showers there is a 2 to 3 week dormancy period before the arrival of yet another batch of rains. This happens in the month of May. This is the prime second flush season. Teas produced during this period are of the most exotic quality featuring exquisite bouquet, muscatel flavor, superb taste and a lingering after taste. Teas produced during this season fetch the highest prices.
The monsoon hits the Darjeeling region in June and teas produced thereafter tend to have more moisture and are of lesser quality. The second flush season ends by September. The months of October and November bring in some autumnal showers and produce a small batch of excellent quality teas which are popularly referred to as autumnals.