Goomtee First Flush
Goomtee Tea Estate – The Tea Garden
Located in Darjeeling’s Kurseong Valley (= “land of orchids”), Goomtee Tea Estate covers an area of 300 ha land. At this, is spreads across altitudes between 1000 and 2000 meters and is embedded in one of the most pictoresque landscapes of Darjeeling. Also, Kurseong Valley has a reputation for producing Darjeeling’s very finest teas. Other tea gardens of the same region are Jungpana, bordering Goomtee in the east, and the Makaibari and Castleton tea estates in the west. All 3 tea gardens share a worldwide reputation for best in class Darjeeling teas. Further, the region’s climate is characterized by comparably cool temperatures, moderate rainfalls and the constant shift between fog and sunshine. This way, Goomtee tea garden benefits of conditions that just couldn’t be more ideal for tea cultivation. As a result, the Goomtee’s seasonal pickings regularly are among the most aromatic teas of India.
Goomtee Tea Estate – Social & Environment
Initially, the tea garden had been planted with China varieties back in 1899 by the British pioneer Henry Lennox. After several changes of proprietors, it became property of the Kejriwal family in 1959 and has since been under the competent management of Mister Mahabir Prasad. Mister Prasad runs Goomtee Tea Estate as a family venture, in which the 4th generation is just about getting ready to take over.
Several waterfalls and a gorgeously landscaped flower garden, as well as the estate’s old mansion are integral parts of the tea garden.
Goomtee Tee-Estate – Tradition and Modernity
During the past 4 decades, plantation and tea factory have been subject to comprehensive modernization. At this, the present co-manager, Mr. Ashok Kumar, particularly focuses on nurturing a novel harmony between traditional Darjeeling tea-making art and state-of-the-art processing technology. Goomtee Tea Garden virtually serves as a role model regarding information and transparency of products and processes. From the picking of the tea leaf across the whole processing chain to packaging and dispatch, all data of a tea are meticulously documented and passed on. This way, the tea lover at the end of the chain gets to learn all important information about their tea. This includes data such as cultivar, picking standard and season, or even the applicable patch of the tea garden, it’s altitude and climate conditions, plus all relevant processing parameters.
The Indian First Flush Season
We might know the term “First Flush” from India only. However, there are “first flushes” – first spring pickings – elsewhere, too. Much rather, the first pickings after the winter break enjoy specialty status in all tea growing regions of the world. The main reason for this is the particular, taste-relevant pattern of active substances in the tea leaf after the “winter break”. For once, picking stops for several months during the cold season in all major tea cultivation countries. But it is not only the picking break that brings the tea plants relief. What adds is that the cool climate soothes the plants and promotes the accumulation of active substances. This applies especially in combination with high humidity and/or fog. In spring then, with rising temperatures and days getting longer, the plant drives these active substances into the young leaves and buds. And this is something… you can taste!
“Early” and “late” First Flushes
What we call “First Flush Season” is by no means a consistent picking period, when it comes to quality and taste of the individual batches. “Ex. 1” , i. e. the very first picking run in the year at all, yields no more than a few kg’s only. Then, this tiny yield comes with such labor expense and the resulting tea is met by such high demand that the price for it hits utopian dimensions. This applies in particular to tea gardens at lower altitudes that because of their location will start their spring picking very early, i. e. already in February. Accordingly, their teas make the spearhead of the Indian first flush season. As such, every year they are the first on the market. There, they meet the anticipation that has built-up among Darjeeling first flush lovers since last year’s season.
On the flipside of the price-quality spiral, later in March pickings of such estates are what will – starting from April – be widely available at Western tea shops at significantly lower prices. By then, however, they’ll have the very best of the spring season already behind them. And this is, when some other Darjeeling tea estates – based on their highland location – will only start their first and most premium pickings. To them applies the same cycle as described above for lowland estates, just shifted in time by a few weeks.
Goomtee First Flush 2019 Spring Delight EX1 – dry tea leaves
Tea from India at Siam Tea Shop
The sustainable trend to more quality with tea on the western market increasingly bears sweet fruit in India, too. Year after year, the mayor tea estates in Darjeeling and Assam compete for each season’s best “First Flush“, “Second Flush” or “Autumnal”. However, not only quality comes from India at new levels today, but also completely new diversity of India’s tea portfolio. Black tea, for example, the classic of Indian teas, suddenly comes around in the most diverse appearances. The spectrum reaches from the modern, flowery first flush to full-bodied, dark roast second flushes to earthy and malty “autumnals”. One example for a first flush perfectly combining modern first flush processing with the classic features of a Darjeeling tea and representative of India’s newly defined quality approach is our Goomtee First Flush 2019 Spring Delight EX1.
Goomtee First Flush – wet tea leaves
Goomtee First Flush 2019 Spring Delight EX1
The ultimate reach for the stars: the very first invoice 2019 of Jungpana Tea Garden in Darjeeling! That is, the tea of the very first picking of the year, a dream of every Darjeeling tea lover: extremely rare, equally precious, and: beyond any recall! A firework of intense floral, spring-fresh flavors from one of Darjeeling’s finest tea gardens!
The state-of-the-art processed, almost still “green” Goomtee First Flush first withers overnight inside the tea factory. During this time, the tea leaves are gently turned several times by hand, leaving the leaf surfaces intact. The withering on the one hand takes some astringency off the tea. On the other hand, the tea leaves gain suppleness during this process. The next morning, they go straight from the withering tray to the rolling machine, where the tea leaves get their final shape. Then, they are left to cool down for about 10 minutes, before moving to the dryer for final drying.
The modern form of processing early First Flushes focuses on highlighting these pickings’ specific spring character. Accordingly, a firework of intense, spring-fresh floral notes also characterizes the flavor of Goomtee First Flush 2019 Spring Delight EX1. As usual with Goomtee, even the estate’s very first spring picking bursts with power and intensity. Also, the golden yellow cup of one of our annual favorites among Darjeeling’s early flushes convinces with pronounced full-bodiedness. And as intense the taste, as powerful and long-lasting also its aftertaste on the palate. At this point, a deep sweetness increasingly prevails, accompanying the connoisseur even far beyond the actual drinking experience.
Goomtee First Flush 2019 Spring Delight EX1
First, poor 200-250 ml boiling hot water (90°C-100°C) over 4g Goomtee First Flush 2019 Spring Delight EX1 in a teapot. Let infuse for 1-2 minutes for a mild, harmonious tea. A second infusion is always an option, living up to much more than just keeping this tea’s delicious aftertaste alive.
Please see here for more first flush teas from Darjeeling @ Siam Tea Shop: