Thursday, July 3, 2008

Darjeeling tea 2nd Flush 2008: A different experience

Well as I’ve always mentioned in my earlier posts that this year due to the agitation in Darjeeling, it was really difficult to procure the good teas in Darjeeling, especially the early invoice teas, so on the 26th of June I had to leave for Kolkata as one of our very important buyer was supposed to come to India to buy the 2nd Flush teas and on the other side it was clever to go to Kolkata and get the teas direct from the garden’s head offices as during the mid of June Darjeeling town was closed due to the agitation and all the good invoice teas were sent forward to Kolkata for auction and private sales, I would definitely say that it was a “narrow escape” for us to go to Kolkata for the purchase of excellent 2nd Flush teas as there was hardly any choice in the gardens as all the teas were sent forward to Kolkata for sales and sadly many local vendors from Darjeeling had to buy whatever was available at the gardens,I`m not saying they are selling something bad but a tea lover will always find the difference. Anyways, soon our good friend and buyer arrived from Europe and we straightaway headed for the tea tasting sessions, we started with some fine Castleton ftgfop-1 samples which were really good and our friend brought a full line of it some 108kgs, the Puttabong lines were also interesting specially their KKRAMSK lines, we all looked at each other and smiled while tasting these lines as once the superintendent of the Sungma tea estate had claimed that only his garden makes this type of musk but now all Jayshree gardens are claiming the same, coming to Singbulli teas I must admit that the overall average of about 25 teas in the offering for the auctions were fairly good as the teas were much better than their 1st Flush harvest, also very interesting for me was while tasting some Singell tea samples, we always thought that this garden makes some classic Darjeeling teas as they never sold their teas through auctions and rather went for private sales but I was discouraged to see the way the teas were sorted and also the cup was not satisfying at all as the rolling was not properly done, not even in one sample we could find a clean tea so this was the reason I kept all my customers away from these teas. We were very happy to see the Sungma teas, especially the clonals, they were absolutely delicious and we have also brought one lot especially for our mail order clients, I`m sure they will enjoy the Sungma clonal tea very much. There were many other teas that we tasted that I cannot think of at the very moment but it was an overall exciting experience for all of us to attain the Darjeeling tea auction Sale No. 27/2008 and especially our buyer friend was very happy to see how many companies sit together and bid for the teas, in my opinion it is also a test for your tea tasting skills as you will know about your choice when others bid for it, meaning you’ll know exactly how many other seller were ready to buy the tea that you liked the most.

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