Spring Blossom Darjeeling 1st Flush 2023
Founded in 1882, Samabeong is one of the highest and most remote gardens in Darjeeling. It’s perched at 6,000ft in the far north-east of the Darjeeling tea growing region. Samabeong has been in the care of the Mohan family since 1990. The garden is surrounded on all four sides by forests and rivers, with the Kolbon river running through it providing fresh water.
This is perhaps the best Darjeeling of the 2023 1st flush season. These leaves come from young P312 varietal tea plants growing at 5,500-6,000ft. High elevation tends to give more delicate complex teas. Most years I favour the AV2 varietal but this P312 batch was a real stand-out. The top two leaves and a bud were picked, lightly rolled, and then fired at about 110°C. This is the modern style in Darjeeling.
If you enjoy delicate, smooth, sweeter teas you will adore this tea. I’m drinking as a write and it’s overflowing with delicious vibrant mango notes. There’s also a touch of citrus and spring florals, leading to a very smooth finish. The length of the tropical fruit notes is remarkable. I highly recommend it as exemplary of the modern 1st flush Darjeeling style. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better Darjeeling 1st flush.
We suggest infusing 3g in 150ml (teacup size) at 70°C for 3 mins. To enjoy a Darjeeling 1st flush at its best, allow it to open for 3 to 5 mins in the glass. You’ll notice the flavour becoming much more expressive as the tea opens, just like a wine. The leaves will infuse at least twice.