Darjeeling Hillton First Flush is a beautifully floral First Flush tea from Hillton Tea Estate. Carefully processed and oxidised, it produces a flavoursome cup with lowered astringency. The character is not as typical as of other First Flush Darjeeling teas, with minimal mineral and stony flavours. This tea is from March 2019 harvest and we source it via a specialist Darjeeling wholesaler in the UK.
Hillton Tea Estate, also known as Ambiok Tea Garden, is located in Kalimpong sub-division in the northern part of Darjeeling District. The estate is just south of Neora Valley National Park, so it enjoys a favourable environment. While the altitude (700-900m) is somewhat lower when compared to some of the higher gardens, the mountainous landscape of Teesta Valley and slope orientation provides great growing conditions. Together with neighbouring tea gardens of Kumai, Samabeong and Upper Fagu these form outlying Darjeeling estates that are further from the main producing regions. As such, many of the teas that come from these estates have a character that is less typical than most classic Darjeeling teas. These estates are also part of the wider Teesta Valley collection of Darjeeling tea gardens. Hillton (Ambiok) Tea Estate in particular enjoys great reputation for the quality of the orthodox teas produced from the old China bushes growing here.
This Darjeeling Hillton First Flush 2019 has a very neat leaf with a beautiful mixed colour. The brewed semi-oxidised leaves have a neat appearance and give off an aroma of fruits and spices. The liquor is bronze coloured and has a light, verdant aroma. The taste is superbly smooth, with a pronounced perfumed floral profile while being much less astringent compared to typical First Flush Darjeeling teas. This tea is more akin to a medium oxidised oolong, with lightly mineral, fruity and creamy notes. The overall flavours are reminiscent of flower petals to taste – dryly floral, verdant and lightly bittersweet. The aftertaste is little drying but long lasting with a build up of light metallic notes and tanginess. This tea is very delicate and balanced, not extremely typical of First Flush Darjeeling, and is delightful to enjoy in afternoon by itself.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3 minutes and can be brewed 2+ times.