A Tea Addict's Journal

Green is the new black

June 21, 2008 · 6 Comments

As Mr. Lochan pointed out — the picture I posted yesterday is, indeed, a picture of a darjeeling first flush for this year.

The tea tastes like a first flush, but looking at it…. I personally had a lot of trouble with the very green colour. Not because the tea was bad, but because there’s a slight disconnect between what it was and what I expected. You can tell right away when drinking the tea that it’s obviously a darjeeling first flush. But that, usually, comes with a certain thinking that perhaps the tea should be darker…. which is utterly untrue.

Just goes to show how little the colour of a tea tells you about really anything.

Categories: Old Xanga posts

6 responses so far ↓

  • sherabch // June 21, 2008 at 2:11 am | Reply

    Or, maybe better to say: the color part in a tea name tells little about what the tea should look like or taste like! The name Black Tea is merely a label for an allowablity of full fermentation in the final process… I guess. By the way, it would become a brain twist if one ever attempt to explain that, in fact, such tea is called “Red” Tea in Chinese 紅茶!

  • Phyllo // June 21, 2008 at 12:34 pm | Reply

    What did I say? 🙂

    I remember Mr. Lochan explained that Darjeeling’s certain “geoagro____” (one of those hard to remember word) is the cause of the color(s) of Darjeeling tea leaves in the end product, even though they are fully oxidized.  They don’t look like Chinese “red” teas.

  • Anonymous // June 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm | Reply

    Actually, I believe, that producers of darjeeling teas make them greener each year passing – they just follow the tastes of customers, who like fruity Darjeling FF teas more.

  • lochantea // June 21, 2008 at 6:58 pm | Reply

    Certain garden gets good cups with fully black apperence – like Margaret’s Hope, at the same time others need greenish apperence like – Jungpana to give equally good cup.

    It is very difficult to explain. One hundred and twenty years ago in a small booklet published by a tea planter on Darjeeling teas – presence of silver tips were a desired things – meaning greener withers – which in far later years switched to golden tips – a prerequisite of Russian market at that time – meaning lighter – kutcha – withers.

    Requirements of the consuming markets is probably the biggest factor affecting the style of manufacture in Darjeeling. No other area of tea production witnesses that. Present interest of American & Japanese market, a shift from German guideline, is changing the minds of producers to go in for lighter cups.

    Come second flush – coppery infusions – and you have entirely different teas from the same plantations.

    This is the beauty of Darjeeling.

  • lewperin // June 22, 2008 at 11:30 am | Reply

    they are fully oxidized.

    Hey Phyll: I don’t think this is true unless you add a big qualification. FF Darjeelings like this one may be as oxidized as possible given the hard wither, which is to say, the low moisture content. But they’re nowhere near as oxidized as, say, Chinese red teas.

  • Phyllo // June 23, 2008 at 3:57 am | Reply

    Hi Lew, thanks for the explanation.

Leave a Comment