Educa-Tea: The Importance of Flushes

What are Flushes?
“Flushes” refer to the different harvest periods for teas in India, and this term is more commonly associated with Darjeeling and Assam tea.

What are the Types of Flushes?
In Darjeeling, there are three main flushes which are observed in a year. The spring flush or the first flush of the year begins around mid-February after the first light showers of the year. This batch of tea is vastly aromatic with a citrusy flavour, which results from the slow growth of the plants during the winter season. As the flavours are ripe and concentrated in spring shoots, they are exposed to very little processing. Due to this, most spring flush or first flush Darjeeling teas appear greenish in colour. First flush teas generally the most expensive flush due to its bright liquor and a lively character. Its production is in lesser quantity and hence the demand exceeds the supply.

The summer flush or the second flush of the year occurs around April and lasts all the way to July. During this period, due to abundant sun and humidity, the plants tend to grow rapidly. As a result, the tea leaves tend to be fuller and boast a smoother taste as compared to the first flush. The second flush is renowned for producing a powerful liquor with denser flavours, similar to grape, cooked peaches, and cantaloupe. Halmari Tea samples are a great way for you to test these unique flushes.

Darjeeling second flush is so unique because it clearly brings the unique muscatel flavour Darjeeling is known for as no other tea in the world is able to bring such unique flavour. The second flush teas of Assam offer a tough competition to the Darjeeling’s, thanks to their robust liquor and rich tangs of malt, honey, and wood.

Produced right after the monsoon passes over, autumn flush or the third flush produces one of the most aromatic varieties of teas that are popular for their mellow floral-fruity characteristics. Autumn teas are typically harvested around mid-October and continues till around mid-November. Autumn flush are also held as self-drinking teas since most can be consumed pure without the addition of condiments.

Winter flush teas or frost teas are rare and only produced in the Nilgiris, and not Darjeeling or Assam. Tea plucking shuts down from December to March in Darjeeling. The tea here tends to grow throughout the year because the region enjoys a unique climatic mix of both tropical and sub-tropical conditions. It does not snow here but frost tends to envelop much of the region during peak winters. As a result, the tea plants grown slowly throughout the three months of winter. The tea has a very aromatic profile and a dusky black appearance, that’s ample in the mouth.

For someone just starting out – first you need to figure out which camp you are in. Not that you can’t enjoy both, some do, but most do have a preference. With the Darjeeling you’ll notice straight away that it’s characterised by a nice, peachy body and a nice sweetness rolling off the back of the palate. Unmistakable. We would always recommend this is drunk without milk and sugar but as usual, it is up to your own personal taste.

Assam tea on the other hand has a slight sweetness to start with, then it becomes thick and malty – it has got a very strong taste on the palate. Halmari tea in Assam is a fantastic choice if you love a splash of milk can often help soften an Assam tea and make it even more drinkable as it softens some of those robust flavours. If you wish, try with touch of sugar as well.

If you are looking for the best tea online, do visit the Halmari Tea website

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