Smooth, elegant, and syrupy with papaya and mango notes. Possibly the finest Darjeeling from the limited 2020 harvest

The Garden

Gopaldhara is one of the highest gardens in Darjeeling, sitting at 3,500 to 6,000ft in the Himalayan foothills. This exceptional producer is one of the few Darjeeling gardens to remain independent and family run, owned by Rishi Saria and his family. Lalani & Co have been working with Rishi and his team for about 10 harvests. We love Gopaldhara for their high quality teas and constant improvement through the seasons.

This Batch

The first flush is the first tea season in Darjeeling, when the plants wake from their winter sleep and stretch out the first shoots of the tea vintage. The first flush season begins roughly at the end of March and lasts until the end of April.

2020 has been a difficult year for tea producers and tea drinkers. The lockdowns in India started at the peak time for first flush tea production which dramatically reduced the availability of fine first flush Darjeeling. As usual, at Lalani & Co they sought out the most beautiful Darjeeling of the season. This batch was the one. There is very little fine first flush 2020, so you’ll be drinking a real rarity this year.

Batch Dj3 is picked from heritage China tea plants, which were planted by the British early in Gopaldhara’s history. The leaves are withered for an extended period to enhance the flavours, followed by a light roll, and then multiple drying stages. Some afficionados might notice some similarities between this and Taiwanese methods.

Tasting Notes

3g:150ml at 70°C for 3 minutes

The style of first flush Darjeelings is to make very light black teas. This Moondrops 2020 has a syrupy, smooth texture. The tea expresses tropical fruit notes, particularly mango and papaya, leading to a very soft finish with very little tannin.

Remember to allow the tea to open. A first flush Darjeeling expresses its true character after several minutes resting in the glass. Tea opens like a wine, and you are rewarded for waiting.