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First Flush Darjeeling Est Arrivé (Nearly)

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Exciting news for tea geeks—er, all the cool people: First Flush Darjeeling season has started! It doesn't feel very springlike in frigid New York today, but in Darjeeling, in the northeastern part of India, the temperature's rising, and tea plants are pushing out their first spring leaves, packed with delicious nutrients the plants have stored to weather the winter. There's been a lot less rain in Darjeeling this winter than last, so the crop is expected to be small. As in every year, the very first leaves, being plucked now, are still thin on flavor; the first flush won't peak yet for another week or so. Ask your favorite tea supplier to recommend the best: They should have the first tins of the new crop by May.

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