Friday, February 23, 2007

Rise your cup!

Darjeeling Tea - 1st Flush, 2007

As the Month of January passed by with dark clouds up on the sky, we were all excited and eagerly waiting for the winter rains which stands out to be a blessing for a 1st Flush crop, last year there were no winter rains, so we suffered a stiff drought which mostly damaged the crops and the price factor was also very high.

The 1st week of February made all of us smile as it seemed this year the Gods had mercy on us as we had this winter rains in the perfect time, soon we called up several gardens after a couple of days and we got the information that some of the gardens in Risheehat area had a first round production which is usually known as the trial invoice before the perfect 1st Flush production, this 1st round production usually contains a maximum of 9-15kgs as its very hard to find the tender shoots and buds as during this time the crop is still full of coppery leaves which means its the time between winter and early spring, so in this trial crop the infusion can be similar of a very good 1st Flush crop but the character can be determined by the aroma as during this time the aroma is not very aggressive as it should be! And the character lacks the after taste factor…..

Soon on the 2nd week of February we had another rain fall which was even better, it rained continuously for 2 days but all of a sudden it poured with a throw of hell stones, we were all scared as this could damage the newly born shoots and buds but it only lasted about 10 minutes and it still rained all night long when suddenly I got up in the morning of 14th February , I could not believe my eyes as it had snowed and the whole Darjeeling town looked white all over …like heaven! Again this showed a very good sign of exotic 1st Flush crop as the snow will sit below the tea bushes and when it melts the crop would be absolutely safe from drought.

On the 20th of February, I visited the Castleton T.E. and the temperature was still cold so it clearly indicated that it would take another couple of weeks for a pronounced First Flush crop, this garden is famous for its china origin variety teas and initially as a first crop we will receive the tea from the Assamese origin variety which is standard in terms of quality, but they already had two rounds of plucking and it still had coppery/yellow leaves which indicated the old leaves. So, we have to wait till the mid week of March to get a good First Flush of this garden.

On the 21st of February, I called up the factory Asst. Manager of Margaret’s hope T.E. and was a bit happy to know that the temperature is changing at the evenings so it’s a good news for us as they already had 3 rounds of trial crops and we are expecting the 1st Invoice anywhere between 27th of February – 6th of March.

On the 23rd of February, I called up the Asst.Manager of Thurbo T.E. and he said that they had a trail crop between 20th-22nd of February and it still had yellow/copper leaves, and these yellow/coppery leaves are very important to be removed as during the winters not all old buds and shoots can be sorted out, so they act as a barrier for the new shoots and buds to grow, but again this plantation is situated in the Mirik valley of Darjeeling district which is slightly warmer than the Darjeeling hills, so we are expecting a very good and pronounced crop on the 1st week of March.

Tea Emporium with New Avatar !

Tea Emporium new website was official launch on 19th February, 2007