Tea is an herb, the leaf of the tea plant. The leaves are dried; in the case of oolong and black teas, they’re heated to engender oxidation.
Just like the other herbs on your shelf, tea doesn’t maintain its flavor for years; it fades over time. Black, green or white, the fresher tea is, the better it is.
For your own enjoyment or for Mother’s Day gifting, you can now enjoy the freshest Darjeeling tea of the season, known as the first flush (the first plucking).
Darjeeling, high in the Himalayas, is a district and city in the Indian state of West Bengal, on the western border of Bangladesh. The tea plant’s winter dormancy period is over, and young leaves have sprouted over the Darjeeling hillsides.
Darjeeling tea is revered by many tea connoisseurs for its delicate muscatel flavor (which connoisseurs enjoy plain, without milk and sugar).
The Republic Of Tea has air-freighted a very limited quantity of this first flush tea to the U.S., so that tea lovers can enjoy the first tea of spring.
First flush 2012 Darjeeling tea. Photo courtesy Republic Of Tea.
The tea comes from the Thurbo Estate, at an elevation of over 5,000 feet (Darjeeling ranges to 6,730 feet—light woolens are worn in summer). Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Thurbo tea plants grow alongside orange orchards and orchid vines.
Spring 2012 in Darjeeling was unusually dry. Quality was high, but yields were low, making this tea more rare than in other years.
Rich in essential oils, the leaves have an exquisite, sweet flavor and aroma. Pronounced muscatel notes are followed with a soft astringency and a lingering finish.
A Limited Edition
There’s just a limited amount of this special reserve tea available. A 3.5-ounce reusable tin, which makes 50-60 cups of tea, is $25.00.
The tea is certified kosher by OU and certified gluten free.
Get yours here.
Find everything you want to know about tea in our Tea Section.