We currently have small amounts from four of the gardens. They are only available in 100g pouches this year, and once they have gone there will be no more until next year.
First Flush Singell
Slightly smaller leaf, quite green in colour, typical First Flush character, bright in the cup, well balanced. I found this one to be better on the second steep, when more of the flavours broadened out for me.
First Flush Bannockburn
Large, mostly brown leaf. More of a traditional old fashioned make. The liquor is darker with a copper tint. The flavour is strong and heavy on the astringency, with a very strong ‘tea’ note that balances it out. Again, I thought this was better on the second the steep when I could happily have drunk a bucket full.
First Flush Seeyok
Large, beautiful, green leaf with lots of bud. A nice bright pale liquor. This is one of those teas that has so much in the way of flavour notes and tones it is very difficult to describe. The first steep of this is the best, and unlike the others it did not improve on resteeping.
First Flush Steinthal
Steinthal First Flush darjeelings are consistently the best. The leaf is large, and very green, with plenty of tip. The aroma is good, the liquor is bright and crisp. Astringency is present but well balanced and there are multiple flavours. However, it is not as good as last years. The make tends to the uneven side, with a lot of variation in the leaf size.
For me, the Seeyok is probably best this year. The Bannockburn also gets a mention for its unique character.
Once the Puttabong has arrived I put together a tasting collection of this years teas, for anyone who wants to compare.