Grown in the foothills of the Himalayas at an elevation of 750 - 2000 metre in century old Tea Gardens, it can take up to 10 years before the leaves are ready to be plucked! The tea bushes are nurtured by intermittent rainfall, sunshine and moisture-laden mellow mists. The rich soil and hilly terrain provides natural drainage for the generous rainfall the district receives.
There are only 86 Tea Estates in an area of 19,000 hectares, each producing teas with a different character of taste and aroma. The high quality results in extremely low yields, around 10,000 tonnes of tea a year, making it one of the world’s most expensive teas. The taste of Darjeeling varies with the seasons. The first growth (First Flush) is harvested in mid-March following spring rains, and has a gentle, very light colour, aroma, and mild astringency. The second growth (Second Flush) is harvested in June and produces an amber, full bodied, muscatel-flavoured cup.