Discover the Delicate Flavor of First Flush Tea May 21, 2023 02:56
As a tea enthusiast, have you ever experienced the same tea tasting differently on different occasions? Well, do not be surprised, the different factors impact the flavor of your tea including the harvesting time.
Tea is harvested in different seasons throughout the year and each season contributes distinctive flavors. If you have found the same tea just on another level in terms of delicate flavor and taste, then high chances are that you have just enjoyed first flush tea.
However, first flush tea stands out not only for its exquisite flavor and unique characteristics, but it is a much healthier option too, thanks to a high concentration of antioxidants in it. In this blog, we will explore the unique characteristics of first flush tea and discover its delicate flavor.
Additionally, we will also learn how to make first flush tea and find its amazing health benefits. So, stay tuned, we have covered all you need to know about magical first flush tea.
What is First Flush Tea?
Before diving into the flavor profile, it is important to learn what first flush tea means in true words. This will help us to understand the reason behind its unique flavor profile.
So, what is First Flush Tea? In simple words, First Flush Tea is the tea that is produced with the very first harvest of the tea leaves during the late winter or spring when the plant is yet to fully recover from winter dormancy. They are also often called “spring flush” or “first picking”.
As the first delicate buds and leaves require high care, they are handpicked by experienced farmers, who prioritize the most tender and younger leaves.
After picking, the tea leaves are swiftly processed with high care to preserve the delicate flavor and aroma; and bring out unique characteristics.
In particular, the cultivation regions with higher elevations and cooler climates are ideal to produce the finest quality First Flush Tea. The pristine growing condition in such regions results in a distinctive flavor profile in the tea that is loved by tea enthusiasts from all around the world.
Characteristics of First Flush Tea
Now, we know that the combination of the young tender leaves and buds, along with pristine growing conditions and a high-care production process contributes to the unique flavor and characteristics of first flush tea. So, what are the flavor profiles and unique characteristics of first flush tea? Let’s find out.
Fresh and Delicate Flavor
Though first flush tea, second flush tea and third flush tea are produced from the same tea plant, you will discover the first flush to be fresher and more delicate. First flush tea presents a distinctive subtle sweet and floral note that is uncommon in other teas.
So, what contributes to the flavor differences in first flush tea vs. second flush tea? Well, the reason behind its delicate flavor is the fact that first flush teas are produced from young tea leaves, which are still in the early phase of the growth cycle when they are plucked.
The color of your tea also provides a hint about your tea flush. First flush tea has a pale and light color, unlike the other teas that are harvested later in the season. The second and later flush will have a darker and more robust color than the first flush tea.
As we mentioned earlier, the first flush tea is plucked in the early spring when the plant is yet to fully recover from winter dormancy. During this period, the tea leaves have high moisture content and are yet to develop darker color. This is why first flush tea has a light color. Also, during the first flush tea processing, the tea leaves go through a lighter oxidation process as compared to other tea, which also contributes to the lighter color in it.
2. Highly Aromatic Quality
The highly aromatic quality is another reason for tea enthusiasts to fall in love with First Flush tea. Though the aroma can vary based on its growing region and tea production process, they are most often described to provide a fruity and floral aroma. The aroma provides hints of apricot, peach, and citrus. This aroma is the result of high levels of essential oils in the young tea leaves that grant a unique scent to first flush tea.
Additionally, the withering process used to produce first flush tea also aids to enhance the aromatic compounds in the tea. During the withering process, the tea leaves are facilitated to lose extra moisture by spreading them. This eventually helps to concentrate the aromatic compounds.
3. Low in Tannins
Did you know tannin compounds are the reason for the bitterness in most teas? Thankfully, first flush tea is low in tannins, which enhances its delicate flavor profile and provides you with smoother and less bitter teas.
To produce first flush tea, the young and tender leaves are plucked before they fully develop their tannin content. These young tea leaves do not get exposed to more sunlight as compared to other teas which go through more growth cycles.
4. High Caffeine Content
If you prefer high caffeine level in tea, then first flush tea is also the tea to go for. This is because first flush tea has a higher caffeine content compared to other types of tea.
As the young tea leaves are plucked when they are still developing, they produce and store more caffeine as a defense mechanism against outer threats. This contributes to the higher caffeine content in first flush tea. And, the high caffeine content makes this tea perfect for those who are looking for a natural energy boost, while avoiding the undesired effects of coffee.
Health Benefits of First Flush Tea
Avid tea drinkers love first flush tea not only for its delicate flavor and unique characteristics we discussed above, but they praise it for its exceptional health benefits too. So, how does first flush tea benefit your health? Let’s find out.
1. Boosts Immune System
Have you heard yet that free radicals are the key reasons for oxidative stress and a weak immune system? Thankfully, first flush tea can help protect your body against the damage caused by these free radicals. To do so, the polyphenols and antioxidants, which are plentiful in first flush tea, come to function.
Additionally, the first flush tea also contains plenty of catechins that have been studied to present antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. They help to eliminate the risk of inflammation and inflections, which in turn help to strengthen your immune system.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Reducing the inflammation in your body, the catechins in first flush tea also help to prevent several chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart diseases. So, including first flush tea in your daily routine can be life-saving. However, remember to consume in moderation.
3. Promotes Heart Health
To promote your heart health, the caffeine and flavonoid compounds in first flush tea come to act.
As we discussed earlier, first flush tea is a rich source of caffeine. These compounds increase blood flow and reduce the risks of blood clots, which aids in promoting good heart health. On the other hand, the flavonoid content in the tea helps you to lower your cholesterol level and improve the circulatory function in your blood vessels. This in turn reduces your risk of developing several types of heart disease.
4. Aids Digestion
Though at a lower level, first flush tea does contain tannins, and they have been studied to aid your digestive health. To offer this health perk, tannins may help reduce inflammation and soothe your digestive tract. In addition, these compounds may also be effective in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria in your stomach.
5. Boosts Mental Alertness
If you are a tea enthusiast, you already know how good caffeine is to improve mental alertness, increase focus, and boost energy levels. The first flush tea contains ample caffeine to offer you these wholesome mental perks. In addition, first flush tea is also a source of the amino acid L-theanine, which too have been found beneficial to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
How to Brew First Flush Tea?
With such unique characteristics, delicate flavor, and amazing health benefits, first flush tea is a magical beverage. Isn’t it? We know it is. However, you must prepare the first flush tea in the right way to bring out the best flavor and aroma from it. Fortunately, preparing first flush tea is quite simple. Let’s find out how to make first flush tea step by step to bring out the best flavor.
Step 1: Bring your kettle and fill it with fresh cold water. Boil it.
Step 2: Now, bring the water to the right temperature. For first flush tea, the ideal water temperature is between 175 degrees F and 205 degrees F, depending on the type of Tea(Black, green,White,or Oolong) . Follow accordingly.
Step 3: Now get your teapot, and add tea leaves to it. Use1.5 to 2 grams of tea leaves for 8 ounces of water for the best result.
Step 4: Let your tea steep for the right amount of time. The ideal steeping time for first flush tea is 1 to 4 minutes, depending on the type of Tea(Black, green,White,or Oolong) . Note that it can quickly become bitter if you steep it for a longer period.
Step 5: Once steeped, strain the leaves and enjoy your first flush tea.
If you are looking for a unique delicate flavor with exceptional health benefits, then first flush tea can quench your thirst. With the delicate yet complex taste, it is not surprising that tea drinkers fall in love with this tea on the first try. Sounds appealing? If so, we encourage you to try first flush tea from Danfe Tea and experience the best of first flush tea.
At Danfe, we offer several varieties of first flush teas such as Nepal Special White Tea, Signature High Grown Nepal - Silver Tips Special White Tea, and Signature High Grown Nepal- High Quality- Golden Tips 1st Class. Our teas are cultivated in the high mountains regions of Nepal, where the cooler climate in higher elevations produces tea leaves with a delicate and complex flavor profile. Place your order today.
What is the first flush in tea?
First Flush Tea is the tea that is produced with the very first harvest of the tea leaves during the late winter or spring. They are also often called “spring flush” or “first picking”. During harvesting, the young and tender tea leaves are picked which enhances the delicate flavor profile with a fresh and bright taste. In addition to delicate flavor, first flush teas also offer exceptional health benefits, thanks to plenty of antioxidant content in it.
Which tea is better first or second flush?
Both first flush and second flush tea are unique in terms of flavor profile, so it all depends on personal preference to describe which one is better. If you are looking for a delicate and fresh taste, then first flush tea is better for you. On the other hand, second flush teas are better for those who are looking for a more robust flavor. However, the first flush teas are generally considered to have higher quality.
Does first flush tea have less caffeine?
First flush tea has a higher caffeine content compared to second flush tea. To produce the first flush tea, the young tea leaves are plucked when they are still developing. During this phase, they produce and store more caffeine to defend against outer threats such as insects and other predators.