“Come oh come ye, tea-thirsty restless ones --the kettle boils, bubbles and sings, musically.”

- Rabindranath Tagore


These words aptly capture the essence of Darjeeling and its most cherished gift - Darjeeling Tea. The crisp, clean air, the misty clouds, the mighty mountains, and the prized soil - all come together to brew the earth’s finest elixir, a steaming, heavenly cup of Darjeeling Tea.

What Champagne is to sparkling wine, Roquefort is to blue cheese and Scotch is to whisky, Darjeeling is to Tea!

It's safe to say that Darjeeling Teas makes for some of the most exquisite & delicious blends. Each season brings with it a fresh new flavor of teas. Given that we’re in the middle of peak summer, it’s hot and humid with generous showers bringing in the much-needed relief from the strong sun. Which gives it the ideal and near-perfect conditions for the tea-bushes to be at the vigorous best. 


The famous Second Flush has arrived!


But what is a Flush?

A Flush refers to the plucking cycle. Typically, the tea bushes are plucked every

10-12 days, depending on climatic conditions. It is important to understand

that when we say Second Flush, it does not mean that the leaves are plucked

for only a second time! Second Flush simply means the second distinct season

or phase of plucking. In other words, tea bushes may be plucked 6-8 times and all teas plucked during this time are collectively referred

to as Second / Summer Flush.


Darjeeling Second Flush 

Second Flush Teas are a tea purists paradise. Plucked in months of May & June, these black teas are slightly darker in color and are more full-bodied resulting in a mellow and mature cup. The bushes are dense and abundant. The plucking is swift - almost every 5-7 days. The leaves are lush and juicy. Teas from the Second Flush season in Darjeeling are remarkably more intense with bright cups and with that signature fruity flavor - the hallmark of Second Flush Darjeeling Tea.




Muscatel Teas 

It is during this time the prized & highly sought after Muscatel Flavor is developed. 

If Darjeeling teas are rare, consider this - out of these 87 tea estates, only a handful produce the mercurial and magical teas with the elusive Muscatel flavor - and that too, for only two weeks in a year. 


The Magic, The Mystery & The Myth 

Much like Cinderella’s magical hour, Mother Nature’s magic at select Darjeeling tea estates also happens for a brief ten-day to two-week period in late summer - end May to mid-June. What makes Muscatel teas so elusive, almost ephemeral, is their uncertainty and unpredictability. An estate can produce the finest Muscatel teas this year, and the next year, the magic can

completely bypass it. Here is how nature’s magic combines with human genius to produce this

mercurial, magical and mystical tea :

The hot, humid and rainy climate in late summer in Darjeeling causes a rapid rise in infestation. Small insects and flies thrive on the rich flora and fauna during this period, which is also the peak Second Flush period in Darjeeling tea estates. Green insects called ‘Jassids’ and ‘Thrips’ appear abundantly around the tea plants. 

They feed upon the tender buds and leaves of the tea-bush, feasting on the rich sap. As they suck out this sap, the moisture content in leaves reduces, causing them to get stunted, shrivel and curl. Also, due to the many tiny needle-points created by these insects on the tea leaves, natural fermentation occurs even though the leaves are not yet plucked. With lesser moisture content, the flavors get concentrated, and the green leaf starts turning yellow. A chemical compound called ‘Terpene’ is also produced within the tea leaves and buds. During the oxidation (fermentation) process, it is this compound ‘Terpene’ that creates the unique Muscatel flavor.

And yet, there are some planters who will dismiss this explanation outright!

They regard this explanation as a myth. While they concede that teas made during the second flush period, that are affected by Jassids, do make exceptional teas with distinct fruity notes, they still do not and should not qualify as true Muscatel teas. They believe that pure Muscatel teas are produced only from authentic Chinary bushes without intervention or infestation of insects. For them, it is the combination of nature’s quirk and human skill that creates this most enigmatic of teas.  


The First Muscatel Tea

The first Muscatel tea was produced at the world-famous Castleton Tea Estate in 1985. The credit goes to the then factory manager of the estate, Mr. Gomden. He noticed in the June of 1985 that the teas produced had a very peculiar and intense flavor, which was quite unlike and different from the normal flavoury teas produced during the time. Upon tasting these, he found that they had a distinct fruity flavor, rich and intense that lingered on the palate. It reminded him of the rich, intense flavor of the Muscat grapes, used for making fine wines. He named this batch of teas, Muscatel - like Muscat grapes. Since then, Castleton Muscatel teas have won top awards and honors internationally, not to mention world-record prices. In 1992, a lot

of Castleton FTGFOP1 Muscatel tea was sold for Rs. 13,000 per kg. at the

Calcutta tea auction.


Today, select estates that make fine Muscatel teas include JungpanaGiddapahar, Gopaldhara, Seeyok and Okayti. From the top tea boutiques in the world to the most exclusive and prestigious tea-rooms in the UK and Europe, Muscatel teas are amongst the most prized and

sought after by connoisseurs. And the moments of sipping and savoring this exquisite Muscatel tea becomes life’s sweetest memories – like the shortest love.



Assam Second Flush 

In the vast Brahmaputra valley in the state of Assam, Second Flush heralds the onset of the peak quality Assam teas. Known for the distinct coppery leaves, chunky, golden tips and full-bodied liquors with bright infusions, the Second Flush Assam teas are what strength and guttiness in a cuppa is all about! Add milk, and you get that hearty yellowish-orange tea that has made Second Flush Assam teas the mainstay of almost all the premium milk tea blends - from the ever-popular Classic English Breakfast to the irresistible Masala Chai. 


It is only during the Second Flush that leaf teas from Assam have those chunky, 24-carat golden tips, that have dazzled and delighted generations of tea connoisseurs from Germany to Japan to Iran. 


Our Summer Flush Teas are packed & ready for you & are  LIVE NOW!

Each tea has been chosen with the utmost love and care by our team of experts and it’s definitely something you must try at least once in this lifetime. 

Come fall in love with our choicest picks and bask in the glory of these divine blends.

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