An Insight to the Flushes of Tea!
“The seasons go round and round!”
Like any agricultural product, the tea is also harvested at various seasons of the year. The term associated with the context of tea is “flush”. The quality and taste that your favourite cup of tea carries are not limited to the picking and processing. The certain factors including climate, soil, rainfall and time of harvest make a huge impact on the flavour of the tea.
The carousel of tea that reveals a unique flavour is affected by seasons. Teas may be distinguished on the basis of types that include:
· Oolong and many more.
Generally, teas are distinguished by the region they come from. Apart from that, the season of harvesting of teas forms another way to distinguish the varieties of teas. In the context of tea, it is termed as “flush”.
Tea flushes serve as great ways in terms of distinguishing the quality and flavour of variable teas. Along with the type of plant and geography where the tea is grown, the seasons also affect the way tea leaves grow along with the aroma and flavour retained. That is why, the flush of tea is considered to be an important indicator in terms of quality.
The four main flushes of teas include the following:
1. First or Spring Flush –
First flush also known as the spring flush refers to the first growth after dormancy. The leaves and buds are plucked at the starting of February while they are still young. The tea produced this time comprises of a delicate flavour along with rich aroma and light body.
First flush teas belong to the most premium quality of teas and are prized throughout the world. It is considered to be among the highest quality tea that is inclusive of the highest amount of antioxidants and stimulants. You need to add a small amount of leaf to enjoy the remarkable taste of this exclusively manufactured tea.
2. Second or Summer Flush –
Also known as summer flush, the leaves that are plucked are a bit matured than the first flush. They are plucked in between May and June. This particular tea will present you with a bit stronger but smoother flavour and bold body. The leaves steep up a liquid that is bright with a remarkable muscatel character.
In comparison to first flush teas, they belong to the second category of premium tea and are a bit low prized by the connoisseurs around the world. For the purpose of enjoying the great flavour, you need to add little bit more leaf during its preparation.
3. Third or Monsoon Flush –
Third flush, also known as monsoon flush is harvested before it starts drizzling. As the name suggests, these teas are picked post the rainy season that follows summer. The leaves being more matured have a strong body and will present you with mellow floral-fruity characteristics.
The leaves are plentiful and are known for having a stronger flavour than the teas belonging to second flush. You need to add a bit more amount of tea leaf while preparing it.
4. Fourth or Autumn Flush –
Finally, comes the autumn flush that are famous for their large leaves. The tea leaves produce a dark leaf that steeps up a full-bodied and naturally flavoured tea. The buds of these leaves contain higher numbers of saps than others due to slow growth. They are plucked at the end of November.
A higher amount of tea leaves must be added at the time of brewing so that a dark copper coloured and strong but delicate tea can be prepared. This particular tea is rich having a full bodied and a nutty aroma.
Lastly, it is the winter flush that belongs to the lower elevation gardens. Usually, they are harvested between November and February. A limited quantity is manufactured but has flavour that is not as comparable to the ones belonging to other seasons.
It is really incredible to learn that the same plant produces a wide range of flavours and aromas that vary on the basis of season when it is grown and harvested. It is the beauty of tea! It provides you with the choice of highly unique and distinct flavours along with aromas.
Once you are able to understand the basic regarding details of tea flushes, you will be able to make a better and informed choice at the time of buying tea.