First Flush 2022 ‘AV2’ Gift Case
30 in stock
Darjeeling is a world-renowned region for fine tea. It sits nestled in North-East India, in the misty foothills of the Himalayas. Known as the ‘champagne of tea’, Darjeeling teas are considered by many to be the pinnacle of aromatic black teas. There are over 80 gardens in Darjeeling, from 900ft to 7,000ft above sea level, producing tea across the four seasons: 1st flush, 2nd flush, monsoon, and autumn. By working with only the best few family run gardens of Darjeeling, we bring you the most beautiful small batches of each year.
One of my favourite Darjeelings from the 2022 tea season is the Spring Diamond 2022. It’s a delicate and floral tea, with the tropical fruit notes which we look for in the best of the 1st flush season in Darjeeling. The leaves are from the AV2 varietal, which is knows for having a particularly fruity, floral character. Most teas are picked from the top two leaves and a bud; however, this tea is made from the top leaf and a bud only. This finer picking standard gives a smoother, more delicate profile.
On the palate, this tea is rich in mango, passion, and papaya notes. I can highly recommend it as exemplary of the modern 1st flush Darjeeling style. To enjoy a Darjeeling 1st flush at its best, allow it 3 to 5 mins in the glass to open. You’ll notice the flavour becoming much more pronounced. The leaves will infuse at least twice and the second infusion is better than the first. 19kg were made of this batch.
On the other side of the valley to Darjeeling, south of Assam, is Meghalaya province. In contrast to Darjeeling, Meghalaya is a little-known hidden gem of a tea region. LaKyrsiew garden is a boutique tea garden in Meghalaya, owned by our friends Geert & Nayan. They first planted in the year 2000 with the aim of making high quality craft Indian teas. Nayan inherited the land from her parents. In Khasi culture, the youngest daughter in the family inherits most of the property. Nayan & Geert found that this area was scouted for tea planting in the mid 1800s, so they decided to revitalise these plans and LaKyrsiew was founded.
I adore this tea. The Edition AV2 is a special edition tea that we requested from LaKyrsiew Garden. As the name suggests, it’s picked entirely from AV2 varietal tea plants, like the Spring Diamond. The leaves had a medium to hard wither (evaporation) followed by two rollings, and a high temperature firing. Just 18kg was made of this exceptional batch.
This is a tea of two characters which are each encouraged by different infusion temperatures. When infused at 70°C, the tea is sweet and delicate, almost green in colour, with notes of spring flowers and light spice. The AV2 varietal really shines and the tea bears resemblance to the modern 1st flushes from nearby Darjeeling.
At 90°C, the tea is darker in colour. It opens with florals, followed by a lively acidity, finishing with drying tannings. In this expression it’s reminiscent of the classic Indian hill teas of a bygone era, to be enjoyed on a sunny afternoon.