Once I began exploring tea-producing areas, one idea that perplexed me was why it mattered what time of the 12 months a tea was picked. Since we’re on the finish of the second harvesting season in some components of the world, it appeared like a good time to do a fast dive into the subject to know why.
Tea farming and manufacturing are areas I’m nonetheless studying about to today. Subsequently, at any time when I’ve the prospect, I’ll style a number of teas from the identical producer or the identical sort of tea produced otherwise. One other issue that impacts the ultimate style of the tea is when it’s picked.
All tea is grown from Camellia Sinensis, an evergreen shrub/tree native to East Asia. As an evergreen, the plant maintains its leaves all 12 months spherical and has multiple rising season. The tea plant is dormant over the winter months, so the commonest choosing seasons are spring, summer season and fall (corresponding to India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka), and sometimes winter in some international locations (corresponding to Taiwan). Relying on the place on the planet, the months and dates of the choosing season will differ. Between harvests, the crops might be evenly pruned and trimmed and left to regenerate and relaxation.
Spring is when the brand new buds of the tea plant develop. Because the plant has had the entire winter to hibernate, the brand new leaves have the best focus of vitamins the plant must survive. Because the seasons move, the leaves develop bigger and coarser because the plant makes use of the vitamins to assist itself. Subsequently, by autumn, the plant has used up most of its sources and the leaves have grown massive and due to this fact there may be much less flavour when the leaves became tea. In international locations like India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, these choosing seasons are known as “flushes”. Beneath are the choosing seasons for Darjeeling, India:
- First Flush begins within the springtime usually between mid to the top of March. The brand new shoots are picked, and it’s seen as probably the most prized for the reason that yield is the smallest. The flavour is grassy, and floral with hints of fruit.
- The Second Flush is mostly from the top of June to mid-July and has the next yield quantity. There’s a pause (banjhi) after the harvest to permit the crops to regenerate. The flavour profile is much less grassy than the First Flush and leans extra nutty, woody, and fruity like muscatel grapes.
- Lastly, after the monsoon season, in October and November is the Autumn Flush, which is the ultimate harvest of the 12 months. The style of the tea is extra woody and malty.
I ended up doing a tasting of 2021 First and Second Flush from a single tea property, Gopaldhara Tea Property. The First Flush was picked on April seventeenth and the dry leaves had been extra inexperienced in color with some silver buds. The liquor brewed right into a pale yellow color with a barely grassy and floral flavour.
Whereas the Second Flush was picked on June 9, 2021, and the leaves had been darker brown/black color. The liquor was golden brown and was extra woody and malty with some briskness on the finish of the sip. I sadly was unable to get an Autumn Flush, however in my expertise, they are usually extra malt in flavour.
General, I hope this breakdown of flushes was fascinating to you! I extremely recommend making an attempt to get teas from the identical space and examine the tastes for your self to see the color and style profile! I’m excited to deliver everybody to different components of the world sooner or later!
- Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, Hugo Americi’s
- Jane Pettigrew’s World of Tea: Discovering Producing Areas and their Teas
- Linda Gaylard’s The Tea E book: Expertise the World s Most interesting Teas, Qualities, Infusions, Rituals, Recipes
The query of the publish: Which flush would you style?
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