Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Darjeeling 1st Flush, 2007

Well today is 12th of March and for the last 2-4 days the temperature is a bit stable, so many gardens will have raw leafs in a much better quantity, many gardens have come up with very good early First Flush season teas but mostly they have made in smaller lots as the temperature which is of coarse very important for tea growing was not favorable….I’ve been traveling to gardens with my European friends(my buyers) and we have together brought many superb teas, but these teas are for their customers so I cannot offer everything in our website…..also on the other side I’ve been clogged with mails about First Flush teas and I know how curious are my clients as I’ve kept them waiting for a very long time till now…well please have patience! I’ll definitely have the best of the crops as usual, I had again called up the Margaret’s hope factory assistant Manager Mr.Rawat today and he has confirmed me that our china invoice will be ready by Monday, I asked him why are they taking such a long time? The answer was first of all Margaret’s Hope T.E. has one of the highest tea growing sectors in Darjeeling and usually it’s a late 1st Flush starter and another factor is that the garden authority knows what type of clientele we deal with and above all the relations that we have with all the tea estates that when they say they have made 1st Flush teas for us then they mean it, where no winter or any sort of copper leaves will be mixed, which most of the Merchant around the globe suffer from, as it took 3 generations for us to understand each phenomenon( change) of the leaf types with the changing seasons…

All these days I’ve been either visiting gardens or been tasting different teas till my tongue went numb……but when the date crossed 16th of March 2007, I changed my thoughts regarding great tea gardens, now I started looking for teas which are more greenish in appearance, (the actual character of First Flush) more floral and less bitter in taste so I again started calling up gardens and asked them to present their samples, when suddenly on the 17th of March 2007 Mr.J.C.Pande (Manager) of Barnesbeg plantation came up with one of his excellent china invoice sample, I immediately laid my tea tasting sets and I was surprised with the end result as this garden was known for its heavy and dark liquor teas ,but this time it was totally different the cup was very light and the aroma was pleasant and the overall cup quality was superb as the after taste ended with full floral and sweet notes, so there was no looking back or waiting for another sample this time, I immediately confirmed the lot and I made sure to have all the teas they had in this invoice ,I must say tea making in Darjeeling is getting competitive each day as all the gardens are coming up with great teas and innovative ideas of making great teas each season, but again I `m proud to have the EX-1 invoice which is the 1st lot of the china type from Barnesbeg Tea Estate …….

Tea Tasting at Thurbo Garden (Mr. T.Gupta with Rajiv)

On the evening of 19th March 2007, I was called up by Mr. A.Gurung (Asst.Manager factory) of Thurbo Tea Estate and was invited to visit the garden on the 21st of March 2007, I was excited to visit the Thurbo tea garden which has a reputation of producing the most aromatic and high quality Darjeeling tea standards in Darjeeling…….so on the particular day I took my camera by my side and left for the gardens, when I reached the garden another surprise was waiting for me! And that is: I met Mr.T.Gupta (Senior Manager of the Garden) who is also a legendary tea maker in Darjeeling, I was nervous to join the tea tasting with him, to be very honest I didn’t know what should I comment in front of him ……… I was introduced to him by the Assistant Manager of the Garden and he started asking me several questions, I don’t know actually what I answered him as I was a bit scared if I would speak out some wrong ideas in front of this tea guru, but every thing settled down when I spoke out my love and experiences regarding clonal teas in First Flush season and it seemed he was impressed! Anyways after that around 8 invoice samples were laid at the tasting room and he invited me to start with the tasting……I started with Dj-2 (which was already sold) the cup was great but the orange liquor didn’t not impress me so much as I was there for traditional 1st Flush teas ,then I tried Dj-4 which was a clonal invoice too but for me it was a bit roasted, we can say this tea will mature well in future but I was scared that even the roasted character in the tea would get pronounced with time so I ignored this tea too, then I tasted several other invoice samples but I was just not satisfied , so they asked me to try some of the White tea they had made, the craftsmanship of this tea was beautiful ,the cup was great but I’m not very fond of Green teas so for me this was just like relaxing my tongue for another round of tea tasting, after sometime they offered me their best clonal invoice which consisted of 70% AB-2 clone and Phoobshering 132 clone, the tea looked great in its dry leaf state as every little leaf looked greenish and consisted a lot of silver tips in it, I asked them to set a brew for me with this tea, and when the tea was ready I was stunned! The infused leafs were very even which means the rolling was perfect in the tea and the aroma was mouth watering……when the tea slightly cooled I took an immediate sip in the cup and I think I had one of the best sip of great teas in my life, the aroma of the tea was very refreshing and had clear hints of raw juicy fruits and the most appealing thing was the after taste as the balance of the briskness with the aroma in the tea was so perfect that it made the tongue go heavy and would stick with it….so again there was no saying no to this tea and I just jumped for this invoice and they could not deny as of coarse due to my company name behind me……I’m sure all my tea connoisseur customers would appreciate the tea very much and I’m very glad to have Thurbo (ftgfop-1) Tippy Clonal Dj-6………….

Thurbo Manager and Rajiv

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