‘Wonder Gold’ 1st Flush 2014 (Darjeeling)
Gopaldhara Garden, where this tea is picked, is one of the highest gardens in Darjeeling. Located at heights of up to 6,000ft above sea level, they produce excellent 1st flushes. The high elevation gives a more complex flavour to the tea. At these high elevations, the garden has been extensively replanting their old plants with fresh younger ones which give a finer flavour.
Tea is a black tea but, as you can see, the infusion looks much greener than expected for a black tea. This is because 1st flush Darjeelings are ‘hard-withered’. That means a lot of moisture is removed in the early stages of manufacture. Without the moisture, the oxidation (which turns the leaf black) is inhibited so the leaf stays green-ish.
The leaves are very well made, whole and full of tips, which give the most complex flavour. On the palate there are notes of tropical fruit (passion, mango) followed by herbaceous notes and a fresh grassy grip in the finish. Remember to let the tea open up before drinking. It brings out the tropical notes which are a delight.