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Introducing 3 High Grown Darjeeling First Flush Teas Produced Using Sustainable Methods

[2023.03.22] Posted By

We have released three types of Darjeeling First Flush, all of which are grown sustainably. The tea gardens are maintained using natural farming methods, and the use of fertilizers is limited when growing the tea trees. As a result, the tea gardens closely resemble their natural state.
Unlike common Darjeeling tea, these teas grow slowly, and the tea leaves have a high cell density, making them rich in minerals and tea substances. This results in a long-lasting taste with a deep finish, and the tea can be brewed multiple times like natural farming pu-erh teas and white teas.

Reason for Releasing First Flush Tea After Aging

First Flush tea is plucked in the spring, but why do we release it almost a year later? You may wonder why we don’t release it when it’s freshly produced in the spring.

Many people believe that tea is best when it’s freshly produced, and that’s true if the tea is packed with oxygen (meaning that the oxygen is not removed from the package before it’s sealed). However, the flavor of semi-fermented/fermented tea becomes stronger and more exquisite as it ages without oxygen. So, at HOJO, we don’t typically sell it immediately after receiving it.
For these spring teas, we age them in oxygen-free packaging for nearly a year so that the aroma components can mature, and the flavor and sweetness can increase.

Aged Tea Has a Weak Aroma Immediately After Opening

Tea that has been kept without oxygen for a while is typically mild in flavor when the bag is first opened. It doesn’t have a strong aroma immediately after opening. Just like decanting wine, tea will emit more uplifting flavor when it is lightly oxidized with air. Normally, after opening the bag of tea, the tea flavor becomes stronger after 2-3 days. The flavor intensity increases significantly, and the sweetness also increases. The tea taste becomes smoother with a more lingering finish.

DJ First Flush Arya Ruby Flowery

This tea undergoes a lengthy withering process, thoroughly withering the tea leaves before proceeding to the fermentation process for a relatively shorter time. Thanks to the long withering period, you can enjoy a gorgeous aroma with multi-layers of floral notes and a hint of fresh fruity notes.

If you take a look at the brewed tea leaves, you may notice that they consist of two colors: the relatively well-fermented part (the orange color) and the green part. The green part of the tea leaf is the portion where withering was intense, and it gives a floral scent. The orange part results from enzymatic fermentation, contributing to the fruity note of the tea.

Compared to standard Darjeeling tea, this tea has an extremely long-lasting finish and a deep aftertaste down the throat. It also has a strong body, resulting in a multi-layered flavor profile with bold and well-balanced taste.

DJ 1st Flush Arya Diamond

Arya Diamond is a premium black tea produced exclusively in the Arya tea garden, located in Darjeeling, India.

This tea is crafted using a rare clonal variety called AV2, which results in a distinct and unique flavor profile. The first pick of AV2 is extremely limited in quantity, making Diamond a highly sought-after and expensive tea.

One of the defining characteristics of Diamond is its silky smooth and soft water quality, which provides a long-lasting finishing. With every sip, you will experience a deep aftertaste that lingers in your throat.

The tea boasts a multi-layered floral aroma, with fresh and sweet fruity notes that are reminiscent of grapes and berries.
Due to the natural farming techniques used in the tea garden, the tea plants grow slowly, which results in a high concentration of minerals in the leaves. This means that Diamond can be brewed multiple times, yielding a rich and flavorful cup every time.

DJ 1st Flush Yanki Clonal Special

Yanki is a very small producer. Most tea estates in Darjeeling are managed by large-scale organizations, but there are only about four family-run producers like Yanki in the whole of Darjeeling. The founder of Yanki is a woman named Yankutamang, so she seems to use the nickname Yanki for her brand.

Small tea gardens are basically not very rich compared to larger organizations. They cannot afford to buy fertilizers and pesticides, which is why the tea garden is naturally farmed, and the raw materials of tea are extremely high quality. Darjeeling tea with this level of aftertaste is very rare, and the quality of the water and the softness of the taste are overwhelming.

The tea is relatively low-fermented and has a floral scent reminiscent of flowers. It is a tea with a pure and refreshing aroma that makes you feel like you are drinking white tea rather than black tea.


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