By Flush it simply means the time of the year of plucking Tea leaves. Tea leaves are plucked round the year as the harvest keeps on growing. The harvesting season of the Tea leaves means grading the harvest as First Flush, Second or Summer Flush, Monsoon Flush and Autumn Flush. The geography, climate and altitude become the deciding factors of quality of leaves. Grown between the altitude 3000 ft and 7000 ft, across Kangra, Nilgiris, Darjeeling, Assam & Terai. The harvest of Kangra & Darjeeling is also called Himalayan Tea.
First Flush Tea
The Tea harvest between March and April is called the First Flush Tea and also considered the best Tea around the world. It’s the favorite of Tea lovers as the leaves plucked in March carry the freshness, mist and aroma of winter winds which make the Tea taste subtle and profound. This makes the First Flush Tea varieties the most expensive as well.
The second Flush is also called the Summer Flush as the Tea leaves of this grade are plucked between May and June. The summer days of May and June turn the Tea leaves slightly purplish in colour giving the Tea a bold flavour and making the second flush favourite among the experienced Tea connoisseurs. The muscatel Tea of Darjeeling is the second Flush Tea.
Following the Summer Flush, the harvest in July when Tea leaves have turned greener and bigger give it the robust taste. The Monsoon flush is used in making the Masala Chai which is the most consumed beverage in India.
The last harvesting of Tea leaves which happens from October to November in Himalayas and December to January in southern hills of Nilgiris has the Tea leaves turned mature after the rainfall. The taste of this Flush is stronger than First and Second Flush, but mellow and more spice-like.