Sunday, April 29, 2007

First Flush Darjeelings Are Here

In all of my excitement about my trip I failed to blog about a couple of new tea arrivals, some first flush Darjeeling's. While I am still disappointed about having to reschedule, life goes on and I am reminded of this by the exceptional character of these early spring teas from a region other than China, India.

As I enjoy my cup of white tea from the Thurbo Estate, Darjeeling with crisp, bright fruit tones, smooth body and subtle lingering I am reminded of the Darjeeling white teas of 2003-2004 that I was so fond of. It was these magnificent teas that helped reshape my thinking about white tea. Cup by cup I realized that my narrow opinion (I once considered only Chinese whites as "real" whites) had kept me from really enjoying these delicious teas and what a pity that was.

While there is no doubt that China is the birthplace of white tea many other regions have taken some of those traditional processing methodologies and fashioned their own style of white tea a viable part of the specialty tea market in my estimation.

Since that time we have always sought out the finest white teas available from this renowned region and look forward to experiencing each harvests unique nuances. This year was no exception. While this year's selection is reminiscent of 03 & 04 it has a special taste that sets it apart and we selected it over numerous other samples including some silver needle varieties.

While China is certainly the birthplace of white tea many other regions have taken some of the traditional production methods and fashioned their own style of white teas

Another exceptional first flush tea we have sourced is Makaibari Bio Dynamic, Fair Trade certified black tea. While I am not a big black tea drinker I have been known to partake in a good first flush every now and then. This traditional style Darjeeling has all of the character and body inherent to a high quality first flush tea; astringency, full mouth feel and bright cooper colored liquor.

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