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‘Supermuscatel’ 2nd Flush Darjeeling 2022 & 2023

Region: Darjeeling, India
Producer: Gopaldhara Garden
Season: 2nd Flush 2022 & 2023
Batch: Two available
This is an exemplary Darjeeling of the 2nd flush season, with the famous 2nd flush 'muscatel' flavour profile.

The Garden


Gopaldhara is one of the highest gardens in Darjeeling, sitting at 3,500 to 6,000ft in the Himalayan foothills. This exceptional producer is one of the few Darjeeling gardens to remain independent and family run, owned by Rishi Saria and his family. Lalani & Co have been working with Rishi and his team for about 12 harvests.

This Tea


The 2nd flush season in Darjeeling is roughly May and June. Teas from this season are characterised by a darker, richer, stronger profile compared to 1st flush teas. The particular flavour profile we’re looking for from a 2nd flush Darjeeling is called ‘muscatel’. Many tea professionals will argue about what ‘muscatel’ actually means. I’ve had different answers from different garden owners. The explanation I’ll give you comes from the root of the name, which is the muscat grape. Darjeeling 2nd flush teas should have a grape-like character. Imagine eating a grape. The flavour starts off floral and sweet. As you drink more, the tannins begin to emerge and build on the palate, just as if you’re chewing the grape skin and seeds. Eventually you have a beautiful, well-structured, grape skin dryness on the palate. Fine examples of this muscatel profile are becoming harder and harder to find, such that some years we’ve had an absence of 2nd flush Darjeeling in our library.

Batch Dj126 2023


This batch comes from section 5A of Gopaldhara garden, which was recently planted with Yabukita and Fujimidori tea plants, imported from Japan. This was a huge surprise, given how well these leaves have captured the muscatel character of a fine 2nd flush Darjeeling.  In 2021 we brought you the first 21kg picking from section 5A. In 2022 the same plants matured and produced 51kg. In 2023 we bought batch Dj126 from the same plants.


The 2023 is rich and has a full body and mouthfeel. It opens with grape and lychee notes, leading to a grape-skin, vine, and seed dryness that builds on the palate. It finishes with an excellent classic dryness.

Batch Ex21 2022


Picked from section 5A of Gopaldhara in 2022. When the tea is poured, straight away the air fills with grape and vine aromas. The tea begins with a red grape character, leading to hints of lychee, then a grape skin dryness that builds on the palate with each sip. The tannins are beautifully structured and the finish is long. It’s very similar to the 2023 harvest but the age has softened the tannins a little.


I recommend 3g:150ml at 90°C for 3 minutes; although feel free to infuse it longer or shorter if you want more or less strength.

Storage and Ageing


While Darjeelings from the 1st flush season are best young, 2nd flushes are usually on fine form for up to 5 years. They reach their best after about 9-12 months and stay at their peak for the next 2-3 years. Store this tea in a cool dry place.