Thursday, April 3, 2008
Castleton Moonlight (ftgfop-1) 2008 First Flush
This year, the month of March i.e. the beginning of First Flush 2008 has been a nightmare for all tea growers in Darjeeling due to shortage of enough leafs for the manufacture, specially we were scared as we had a huge order from some of the Merchants from the west and also some individual tea lovers, this year we are at least 1 week late to procure this wonderful young tea, I was in touch with Mr.. Mukhia (Manager Castleton T.E.) from the last weeks of February for this tea, actually this tea is produced in a very limited quantity by this plantation, this tea is grown exclusively at the “allay” section of the plantation at a height over 5500feet,so the growth of the leafs in this section is very slow due to the extreme cold atmospheric temperature, the leafs are plucked when they are very young just before the sunrise by expert tea pluckers of the plantation, the tea is then withered for over 28-30 hours to have the even freshness in all the leafs, then its only fermented for over 20-25 minutes for that slight touch of flavour and fired for the perfect crisp, as a result of which the tea is extremely rich in anti-oxidants. The real tea maker behind this early spring exotica is Mr. Gurung (factory assistant) who is also one of the most renowned tea makers in Darjeeling District.