Ringtong First Flush 2023 Spring Blessing
€7,90 – €24,90
The early first flush of the sustainably operating Ringtong tea garden is a typical product of modern first flush processing in Darjeeling. As such, it focuses on emphasizing the teas of this picking´s specific spring character. Accordingly, the tea caresses the tea drinker’s senses with a captivating scent of fresh flowers and delicately sweet notes. On the palate, the golden-yellow infusion unfolds harmonious nuances of muscatel and gentle grassy undertones into a deliciously complex taste profile.
For more information and illustration please refer to the detailed product description below.
Ringtong First Flush 2023 Spring Blessing
Ringtong First Flush 2023 Spring Beauty EX08 – dry tea leaves
click picture(s) to enlarge
The first flush of Ringtong tea garden is a typical product of modern first flush processing in Darjeeling. Especially the tea leaves handpicked in early March undergo particularly careful processing while preserving the whole leaf and its natural aromas. To do this, the freshly picked tea leaves are first left to wither overnight inside the factory building. During this time they are gently turned by hand several times so that the leaf surfaces remain intact. On the one hand, withering takes away the astringency of the tea. On the other hand, the leaves become more supple. The latter pays off the next morning when it goes from the withering tray right into the rolling machine. This is, where the tea leaves receive their final shape. They are then left to cool for about 10 minutes before entering the dryer for final drying. The result is an exquisite tea with an incomparable taste and superior leaf quality.
The modern way of processing early first flushes focuses on emphasizing these teas´ specific spring character. As a result, the tea caresses the tea drinker’s senses with a captivating scent of fresh flowers and delicate sweet notes. On the palate, the golden-yellow infusion unfolds harmonious nuances of muscatel and gentle grassy undertones to a deliciously complex taste profile.
Ringtong First Flush 2023 Spring Beauty EX08 – wet tea leaves
First pour boiling hot water (90°C-100°C) over 2-3g/100ml Ringtong First Flush 2023 Spring Blessing in a teapot. Let steep for 1-2 minutes for a spring-fresh, light and sparkling first infusion. Then pour into a serving pitcher or directly into the teacup. After the first steep, at least two subsequent infusions are in no way inferior to the taste of the first one and perferm way beyond just keeping the delicious aftertaste alive!
Alternatively, Ringtong’s early first flush also delivers taste results with truly addictive potential when prepared in a more “western” style. To do this, dose about 3g/100ml of boiling water (90°C-100°C) and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Even with this method of preparation, a second infusion will certainly be still worth it!
Ringtong – The Tea Garden
Amidst the scenic landscapes of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India, lies the historic Ringtong Tea Garden. Founded as early as 1856, it is is one of the oldest tea plantations in the region. Ringtong is located between the renowned tea gardens of Margaret’s Hope and Balason in the northern Kurseong Valley (= “land of orchids”) at an altitude of 1000 to 1700 meters above sea level. The south-west facing slopes cover an area of 338 hectares.
Located just 16km from the capital of Darjeeling, Ringtong Tea Garden has a rich history. At this, the name “Ringtong” is an association with the “first morning bell”, which symbolizes the beginning of a new working day in the tea fields. After a fire destroyed the tea factory in 1996, the tea garden had to close. It was only in January 2014 that Ringtong Tea Company Pvt Ltd, led by Kavita and Sanjay Choudhry, revived the garden and resumed tea production. Since then, the new operators have been pursuing an approach of sustainable cultivation and tea production based on high quality specifications. This eventually resulted in the award of the renowned “Rainforest Alliance” certificate, which further underlines the tea garden’s commitment to sustainable practices.
Visitors to the Ringtong Tea Garden have the opportunity to explore the legacy of the historic plantation. You can learn more about cultivation techniques and experience the unique flavors of Ringtong teas. The guided tours also provide an insight into the art of tea processing required for true Artisan quality. In addition, the garden offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan mountains and verdant valleys, making it a popular retreat for nature lovers. The video linked below gives a good impression of this:
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.
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 2022 Spring Diamond.
Please see here for more first flush teas from Darjeeling @ Siam Tea Shop:
25g, 50g, 100g
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