Darjeeling Gopaldhara Moondrop First Pick 2022 is a fine First Flush tea from Gopaldhara Tea Estate. This is a rare opportunity to try the very first pick of the season. Consisting solely of carefully hand-processed fine young leaves and buds of select clonal plants, this tea is lightly oxidised to produce a bright floral liquor with smooth and soft flavours. Grown at higher garden elevations between 1,700 and 2,100m, this lot is a ‘FTGFOP1 Moondrops’ pick from the March 2022 harvest.
You may also be interested in our other 2022 harvest teas from Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates, especially the First Pick ‘Jethikupi’ from Rohini.
Like all our Gopaldhara teas, we source this tea directly from Rishi Saria, the owner and director of Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates. Gopaldhara Tea Estate is nestled in the Mirik Valley, in the Himalayan foothills, and is one of the highest tea estates in Darjeeling with elevations of up to 2,100m. It is renowned for producing teas of exceptional quality and very often quite unusual character. The estate is also known for innovation, with new types of tea that utilise new and traditional production methods being developed every season.
First Flush Darjeeling tea is particularly prized, however the First Flush moniker does encompass a longer growing season during which the plants undergo a number of rounds of leaf picking. For example the classic Gopaldhara First Flush is generally picked much later in late March and April. This Gopaldhara Moondrop is the very first pick of the season, a period during which the leaf growth is slow. The slow growth of the leaves results in a higher concentration of nutrients after the long winter hibernation, itself translating into unique flavours and charm of the finished tea. It is made from the young leaves and tips that are plucked whole by hand from the best specially selected clones. The leaves are then delicately processed by hand to retain the full leaf. The natural light oxidation strikes a good balance to both retain the fresh character as well as to bring out some more complex flavours.
This Darjeeling Gopaldhara Moondrop First Pick tea consists of neat, hand picked and hand processed tippy leaves that have undergone careful low oxidation. When brewed it produces a golden liquor with a bright floral profile. The flavours are complex, but somewhat bolder and closer to classic First Flush Darjeeling flavours when compared to the ‘Jethikupi’ First Pick from Rohini. The smooth and clean taste has floral, fruity and creamy notes with a touch of baked and mineral undertones. It has a wonderfully smooth and coating mouthfeel, something that can be attributed to the creamy and baked aspect of the tasting. The aftertaste has a nice degree of sweetness while delivering the classic Darjeeling mineral character. This is a fine, expertly-made Darjeeling that wonderfully highlights the difference between a refined First Pick and a more classic First Flush tea.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3-4 minutes and can be brewed 2+ times.