What are tea flushes and what part do they play?

If you’re a tea enthusiast, you’ll likely already know that factors such as the garden’s location, climate, elevation, and the tea processing methods affect the flavour of your tea. Another crucial tea-related term to keep in mind is ‘tea flushes.’ This post will explain its meaning and explore some of the famous tea flushes you should definitely try.

What are different tea flushes?

In simple terms, flushes are a way to describe the periods of leaf growth that take place throughout the year. In India, tea growing is seasonal, and therefore the tea plant grows and develops through different seasons. This contrasts to Kenya, where the climate is more consistent, tea is less of a seasonal product and grows throughout the year.

The times when tea plants grow will depend on when rain falls in the gardens and when the temperature is higher. In seasonal tea gardens, tea plants go into hibernation in the Winter. In Spring, when the weather warms up, tea plants begin to unfurl and grow. Each flush produces a unique flavour profile, so the timing of when your tea is plucked will have an impact on the taste.

In Assam there are two famous flushes when most of the tea is harvested:

First Flush

Unsurprisingly, this is the first harvest of the year. Depending on the elevation of the tea garden, the first flush happens between late February and often lasts to April. First flush teas are usually quite light in flavour and there is high demand for them, as connoisseurs are keen to try the first new buds of the year after the tea bushes have been sleeping.

Second Flush 

The Second Flush takes place between April and May/June. The tea bushes benefit from more sun and rain, resulting in a stronger, bolder taste. Second Flush teas are perfectly paired with the sweet course when enjoying Afternoon Tea.

Other regions have flushes that are renowned for their quality

  • China’s famous Spring Flush is a delicate tea with the lightness of spring flowers and fresh and floral finish.
  • Darjeeling’s flushes have very different styles. Darjeeling First Flush teas are among the most expensive teas on the market, famed for their light and floral taste. Second Flush Darjeeling teas are richer and more robust in flavour.

How we use flushes

Ahmad Tea blenders select teas from various flushes during the year to build our blends. For example, our best-selling English Breakfast blend contains a high proportion of Assam’s flushes, combined with teas from East Africa to make a consistently delicious tea, all year-round, wherever you are in the world.

Which is the best flush?

It really depends on your taste buds and whether you like a stronger tasting tea or something a little lighter and delicate.

If you are looking for some of the finest quality single flush teas on the market from Assam or Darjeeling, look no further than Galerie du Thé by Ahmad Tea, our luxury loose tea range.

Galerie du Thé by Ahmad Tea

Indulge in the exquisite taste of Galerie du Thé. These premium teas are handpicked from the finest tea gardens around the world and expertly crafted to deliver a delightful experience.

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