THE HISTORY OF TEA
It is known that the tea plant was a wild plant in India that was brewed by local inhabitants of different regions. Ancient Ayurveda referred to it as “Soma”.
The next recorded reference to tea in India after the 12th century dates to 1598, when a Dutch traveler, Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, noted in a book that the leaves of the Assam tea plant were used by Indians as a vegetable, eaten with garlic and oil, and as a drink.
In the early 1820s, the British East India Company began large-scale production of tea in Assam, India. In 1826, the British East India Company took over the region from the Ahom kings through the Yandaboo Treaty. In 1837, the first English tea garden was established at Chabua in Upper Assam.
Flushes of Tea
The spring flush has a very special, prized position among the already premium Darjeeling teas. Spring flush teas are harvested during the earliest growth spurt of the plant. The two leaves and a bud of the spring flush are very delicate. The brewed cup has a fresh, almost floral aroma and low astringency. The spring flush holds a place of high esteem among tea connoisseurs. Plucking starts as early as February and lasts till April.
The summer flush lasts between May to June and is the second growth spurt leading to longer, more mature leaves with a smoother, stronger flavor. The leaves are gently plucked and processed within no longer than 14 hours to retain the maximum flavor and high quality.
Come rains and the tea plant receives abundance of moisture and nutrients. This is the rain flush that starts from June and lasts up to late August. The brewed cup is light, translucent and coppery with a rich fruity flavor.
As the monsoon season ends the autumn flush begins. Post-monsoon grandeur of the Darjeeling Mountains reflects in the tea leaves that take on red overtones in this season. The aspect is gorgeous, deep copper with red reflects. The resultant brew has a fine fruity taste with a silky finish.