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1st Flush Darjeeling

Steeping Instructions

Step 1:
Preheat mug with boiling water, discard and refill.
Step 2:
Steep 2 flat tsp or 3-4 grams of tea per 8 oz of water.
Step 3:
Steep for 3-5 minutes as desired. Experiment with slightly cooler water or shorter steeping times. Try one additional steeping if desired.

Tip! Consider a sample size to explore 3-4 cups of a new tea!

1st Flush Darjeeling Tea Description:

Our 2019 1st Flush Darjeeling black tea is from Gopaldhara Estate, India.  This 1st Flush, FTGFOP (Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe) tea comes from the Darjeeling region of India, a narrow state in the north and east of the country almost entirely surrounded by Nepal, China, and Bhutan. 

This tea is a classic handmade first flush Darjeeling, harvested and produced in mid-March before heavy rains that come later in the year. It features a wonderful floral and grassy aroma and taste accompanied with slight astringency and complex flavors. Like other Darjeeling tea, our 1st Flush is produced using a a process that doesn't completely or evenly oxidize the leaf. It's technically closer to an oolong, given the moderate oxidation, but the technique used in Darjeeling produces a very colorful tea by comparison to the uniform coloration typical of most other teas.

Gopaldhara Estate has been producing top quality Darjeeling Tea since 1955. Located right on the border with Nepal, our First Flush Darjeeling comes from clonal tea plants growing between 5,500 ft and 7,000 ft in elevation.

We consider this to be a connoisseur tea as it is produced in small quantities, by hand, from a single season and estate.

Connoisseur TeaIngredients:

Indian Black Tea

Gopaldhara Estate Significance

Gopaldhara Estate lays claim as one of the highest tea estates in the famous Darjeeling region of India, situated in somewhat of an odd location bordered tightly by Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. The tea itself is grown at an elevation of 6,000 to 7,000 feet above sea level with cool to moderate temperatures and ample rainfall; conditions considered outstanding for developing the flavor of teas. Gopaldhara Estate itself has been producing teas since the 1950’s.

Darjeeling Tea Significance

Darjeeling was the first tea in India to be protected under Geographic Identification (GI), which didn’t happen until 2011. This protection allows India the right to force other governments to protect the Darjeeling name and product within their borders, which is quite difficult without the GI. It is estimated that just before awarding the GI, there was almost 3 times more Darjeeling tea on the market than is actually produced in Darjeeling each year. This tea fetches a price per pound almost fifty percent higher than Assam and Nilgiri and can rival the price per pound of some well-known Chinese teas.

By protecting this tea, the Indian government not only ensures that the quality of the tea locally grown meets the definition of a Darjeeling but that it can stop tea being grown and manufactured outside of this area from being marketed as Darjeeling.

In order to get the Geographic Identification, the India Tea Board had to develop a definition of what makes a tea a Darjeeling tea. It is defined as “Tea either currently being or having been cultivated, grown or produced in one of the 87 tea gardens in the defined geographic area of Darjeeling as determined by the India Tea Board, as well as processed and manufactured in a factory located in the defined geographic area. When tested by expert tea tasters, it is determined to have the distinctive and naturally occurring organoleptic characteristics of taste, aroma, and mouth feel, typical of tea cultivated, grown and produced in the region of Darjeeling, India.”

By creating the definition, the India Tea Board can license and monitor all stages of Darjeeling tea production to ensure quality and compliance with their certification. As a consumer of the tea, it makes it simple to know if I am getting an authentic Darjeeling through the logo that is put on every pound of Darjeeling leaving the area for consumption. The Tea Board is currently working with outside firms to automate as much of the oversight as possible, and through doing so, making it easier for the Tea Board to pursue counterfeiters and get their products off the market or labeled more clearly. This ultimate helps to protect the growers and producers of Darjeeling by allowing the tea price to keep increasing as demand outstrips supply.

Product Videos

Darjeeling Tea (05:48)
Darjeeling tea got its nickname "the Champaign of tea" because of the complex fruit and floral aromas this tea is known for and the limit quantities that are available due to the shorter growing season and high demand. A traditional Darjeeling tea is a black tea, however, the tea leaves are also used to make white and oolong Darjeelings, which are rare outside of West Bengal, India. The Darjeeling region borders Nepal in the state of West Bengal. It is the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains and carries of perfect terroir of high altitude, moderate to cool climate, and rain. Darjeeling tea is from Camellia Sinensis var. Sinensis, not from Cameliia Sinensis Assamica, which is thought of as the traditional Indian tea cultivar. The high altitudes are what allow this Chinese varietal to thrive in India. On top of being in a distinct region, the Tea Board of India requires registration and monitoring of tea estates in Darjeeling in order to enforce the Geographic Protection given to the region in 2011 by the United Nations. Knowing the name of the estate that grew and manufactured the Darjeeling is critical in knowing that the Darjeeling you are drinking is authentic. It is estimated that there are 30,000 more pounds of Darjeeling on the market annually than is produced in the region (i.e. lots of fake Darjeeling). This has dropped dramatically, but counterfeit Darjeeling has not been fully eliminated. Darjeeling tea is picked in March to April during the first harvest (plucking), or first flush. This occurs during the spring rains. The second flush is typically picked in June. There can be a picking during the monsoons from late June through the fall, but generally these are less flavorful teas and are often only sold locally and are blended into masala chai in the West Bengal region. A fall plucking of tea can also occur, but again not quite as flavorful as the 1st and 2nd flush. Darjeeling Flavors First flush Darjeelings are typically lighter, more floral but will carry a lighter version of the stone fruit flavor than is expected of a second flush. The leaves may appear lighter as these are the first picking and are often not allowed to oxidize as far as a second flush tea. Second flush Darjeelings are what gave this tea its comparison to champagne. This is a complex tea from a flavor standpoint with a mix of stone fruits from apricot and peach to plum. Some people use the term muscatel, which is a reference to muscatel grapes. This is best described as sweet, fruity, and possibly caramel like in flavor. First Flush: Second Flush: ****** Dominion Tea Across the Web ****** Dominion Tea - Tea Blog - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter -
  • Darjeeling Tea
    Darjeeling tea got its nickname "the Champaign of tea" because...

Product Reviews

  1. The best breakfast tea I've ever enjoyed 5 Star Review

    Posted by on Nov 23rd 2020

    My usual order from Dominion has been 'Kosabei TGFOP' [Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe]. This was recommended as I like strong black tea, and it makes an outstandingly good breakfast tea, better even than Fortnum & Mason's. It is strong with ripe flavors, calm and balanced accents. Not too expensive. It makes great iced-tea, as well.

    But, now we come to this '1st Flush Darjeeling' - an FTGFOP [Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe]. And right off it 1) looks different than TGFOP tea in that it has much longer, larger, and slightly lighter colored leaves (you will see this both before and after brewing), and 2) it offers a more complex taste - having layers beyond the one strong note of TGFOP.

    With this FGTFOP I noticed a fine, light fruity (a bit flowery) taste overlaying its strong black tea foundation, and then a surprising aftertaste of raw green that cleared my palate. So, this tea has got a real structure to it and by the end of my very first cup I was at: "Wow." It is priced higher, and worth that.