Second Flush Darjeeling

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Muscatel, Honey, Smooth, Tea, Wood, Cream
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by bree
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec 9 oz / 265 ml

From Our Community

1 Image

9 Want it Want it

61 Own it Own it

  • +46

53 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’ve flip-flopped over whether I was ever going to try David’s straight teas. I mean, I’ve always intended to, but I can never quite get my mouth to name any of the classics, when it has the...” Read full tasting note
  • “After a surprising number of cups my twenty gram sample is almost entirely gone and I am left with a slightly higher opinion than when I started. I am not one to add sugar or milk to my tea but 1/8...” Read full tasting note
  • “I went on an oolong binge a couple of months ago, I pretty much bought anything that was called an oolong. It is very obvious to me now that I should have done a little research first, tried a...” Read full tasting note
  • “This afternoon’s lunch tea. I’ve steeped it with a little bit of lavender and coconut (less lavender, more coconut) and it’s just like it suppose to be… fragrant and yummy.” Read full tasting note


Second nature

Darjeeling is known as the “champagne” of teas: if it doesn’t come from India’s Darjeeling region, you aren’t allowed to use the name. That might be why the best Darjeelings taste just like the mountains they were grown on. While the first leaves in the spring tend to be delicate and almost green in flavour, second flush Darjeelings generally have a richer, darker taste. This one is bright, woodsy and earthy, with notes of honey, fresh mushrooms and meadow flowers – like a forest getaway in a cup.

Ingredients: Second flush Darjeeling tea (grade FTGFOP 1) from Darjeeling, India.

About DAVIDsTEA View company

DavidsTea is a Canadian specialty tea and tea accessory retailer based in Montreal, Quebec. It is the largest Canadian-based specialty tea boutique in the country, with its first store having opened in 2008.

53 Tasting Notes

357 tasting notes

I’ve flip-flopped over whether I was ever going to try David’s straight teas. I mean, I’ve always intended to, but I can never quite get my mouth to name any of the classics, when it has the option to say something like Bamboozled. As much as I admire my fellow Steepsterites who can actually taste and describe all the aspects of a straight tea, I do not have such distinguished taste.

Me likes me sprinkles

In all honesty, for me, the true appeal of Davids Tea has always been their jazzy flavors with the quirky little names. It’s just too difficult for me to ask for something classic when I can try something called Kiwi’s Big Adventure, Big Apple, or Cookie Dough. Every time I plan a trip to DT, I tell myself that I’m going to try at least one of their straight teas just to see what it’s like. But once I get in the store, I lose all focus and before I know it I’ve ordered a counter full of fun flavors and I eventually leave with nary a straight tea in sight. Seriously, sometimes I have the attention span of…

…whoops! Sorry, got distracted…

..Where was I? Oh yes! So Davids Tea had a $1 deal for their single serving packets of straight teas. It was as if that deal was catered to make me finally bite the bullet and give ‘em a go. I think I bought about 4-5 different types, and this is the first one I’ve tried so far. Just as I suspected, I get far more steeps out of this tea than I would out of my fun teas. And it really does taste delicious, it’s fresh and traditional. It tastes like fancy, you know, if fancy had a taste.

If I can manage to maintain focus for long enough during a future trip to David’s Tea, in the sea of jazzy fun-time teas, I would definitely repurchase this one. It’s tasty, it’s classic, and it’s a great option for my guests who are overwhelmed by the crazy flavors in my tea cupboard and ask “don’t you have any normal tea”. I’m sure they mean the commonplace bagged stuff, but if I serve this to them, I’m sure no one will complain.


I too have way more fun, flavoured teas than straight. I really have to make more of an effort to try straight tea because sometimes I feel like a bit of dummy on Steepster. I just can’t tease out all the flavours that other people seem to be able to.

Invader Zim

I wanted to tell you something…OH LOOK! A butterfly! …so, yeah where was I? lol I love people who do that, it’s so amusing!


Don’t worry. I began with only flavored tea, started with a really good couple of straight tea’s and it took time to understand the flavor profiles. If you had a Laoshan Black tea, you could taste the Chocolate for instance it’s obvious but it’s not flavored. An oolong might taste floral and sweet but it’s all natural too. A genmaicha would taste like toasted rice or popcorn, a savory flavor…all natural.


@MissMylin – glad to hear that I’m not the only one

@Invader Zim – hahaha! That’s me 100% I’m like the dog from the animated film called “Up”…SQUIRREL!

@Bonnie – good to see that’s where other steepsters have started. I have a few oolongs from the straight tea special, so I will bear in mind what you said about them when I drink them. I used to drink Genmaicha all the time – your taste description is spot on. I will have to try a Laoshan Black – sounds delicious. Thanks for the tips

Invader Zim

I love that movie! My master is good at smart. lol I find animated movies to be better than most other movies these days.


So true, I can’t wait to see Despicable me 2


Glad you liked this one. I’ll have to bre wmy sampler and compare it to the other Darjeeling I bought from DT. And PHEW…. I was worried I was the only one who had trouble describing the straight/classic teas.


There’s a despicable me2? Ohhhh yeah!



I think Despicable Me 2 is set to come out July 2013 – those little minions cracked me up

Invader Zim

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all live close enough that we could all get together, drink tea and watch Despicable Me 2!


Best tasting note ever! I know exactly what you mean re: sophisticated palate. It’s one of the reasons I’m trying to wean myself off sweetening everything, so I can taste a straight-up tea and actually taste it. But boy do I love my dessert teas. =)


@Invader Zim – That would be fantastic. Or as Agnes might say “It’s so awesome I’m gonna die!” lol!

@Nik – hahaha! Thanks Nik, I must have been feeling inspired that day. Dessert teas are amazing. I just received my very first order of 52teas a couple of days ago, and I think I found yet another favorite tea company.


I’ve got my first 52t order, too! [squee]

Invader Zim

It’s so fluffy! lol I love it!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

709 tasting notes

After a surprising number of cups my twenty gram sample is almost entirely gone and I am left with a slightly higher opinion than when I started. I am not one to add sugar or milk to my tea but 1/8 teaspoon of sugar really knocks out the sense of bitterness and astringency that this cup can develop when you are not looking. The black tea flavour is relatively familiar and puts me in mind of my fathers beloved bagged teas. More muscat would make a huge improvement but this is a cheap(ish) second flush so I guess I might be asking a bit much of this one. When I am drinking it I don’t feel the need to restock but when I am just thinking about it I can’t decide for sure. I think what I really want to do is get 100 grams of Wild Yunnan Black as I was hoping I get some for Christmas but I didn’t. Alas. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

1040 tasting notes

I went on an oolong binge a couple of months ago, I pretty much bought anything that was called an oolong. It is very obvious to me now that I should have done a little research first, tried a few, looked for others with similar characteristics etc. Now that I’ve moved on to blacks, I don’t want to make that mistake again.
I’ve tried a few blacks but don’t really know if I like certain ones because they are high end or if I like that style of black tea. So, I went to Davids (it’s relatively inexpensive and I have one really close to me) and bought 5 straight black teas. I thought they should all be of similar quality and I could get a feel for which style of black I like better. I’ve decided to take one black tea a day to work and see what I think of them. This is yesterday’s tea.

I’ve never had anything called darjeeling before. I found it to be light and somewhat astringent. This was what I thought black tea was like before I really got into tea. This is why I’ve been avoiding blacks until now. I don’t like this. I like big, bold, dark, malty black tea. This isn’t it. I didn’t mind the first steep, was ok,but it was all downhill from there. I couldn’t drink the third steep at all. Way too astringent for my tastes.
From what I’ve been reading (I know scary – me doing research) this is probably a classic example of a darjeeling, and if that’s true – I’ve learned that darjeeling isn’t the black for me. This one is getting moved to the “for iced tea” pile.


This is really helpful – what a great experiment! Big, bold, dark and malty is exactly what I want as well and I think assam gives me the most in that department, as a general rule.


That’s good to hear, I have an assam to try as part of this. May save it for Friday if should be more my style.


I wish you’d just try all of them right now, I’m completely nerding out over this.


I was drinking Teavivre Dragon Pearls last night – that’s not part of the experiment I KNOW I like Dragon Pearls – I’m going to drink Mandala’s version tonight to compare. LOL I know too many comparisons going on, but I’m really surprised at how much I like black tea.


i’m looking forward to seeing the different types of straight blacks you try in your survey; i love stuff like this. if you decide for some reason you want other sources to do this sort of fairly uniform type thing with besides david’s, upton is really good for this kind of basic level testing of general tea types thing.

(though i will say, man steepster as a rule just hates darjeeling! i love it, so i always feel a little like a misfit, ha. i can definitely see how someone really into malty, bold, smooth black tea would hate darjeeling’s sandalwood-y, astringent qualities though, for sure. i also think it’s awesome cold steeped, in case you need a reason to use up what’s left and hate it so much the idea of another hot cup gets to you.)


I’ve looked at Upton. Way too many choices for my poor uneducated brain to handle. Thanks for the suggestion, I will take another look once I’ve learned some more and can make a more educated decision. (Their shipping is also pretty pricey to Canada – will need to order quite a bit to make it worth while).
I don’t mean to be a darjeeling hater :(( this one just didn’t suit my tastes. I will use the rest of it for cold steeping, you can cold steep almost anything…..


Nah, it’s cool, i was just joshin’ ya and musing a bit. (: Bonnie’s right re: Nepali teas by the way (I don’t mean to sound like I know a lot either, which I just realized I might come off as trying to do…I’m as new as you!), at least in my experience (because I love darjeeling a lot but yeah it’s pricey as hell I discovered Nepali teas pretty quickly as they’re sort of marketed as the cheap but up-and-coming little sister to darjeelings, an assessment I happily agree with). But on the other hand, sometimes you find the exception tea, of a type you normally dislike but for whatever reason just really works for you (for me it’s Golden Moon’s Sinharaja; I’m really not a fan of Ceylons generally but it’s so gooood). Then you just horde it like mad and hope it never goes out of stock, ha.

Anyway, best of luck in your exploration and thanks for posting about it!


And yeah I can def. understand that about Upton being too overwhelming. I keep forgetting so many Steepsters are in Canada too, whoops my bad.


It’s all good. I’ll take all the advice I can get. I thought I would buy one example of each, try them, see what I like, narrow the search. But if the Nepal tea I have isn’t a “typical” example of a Nepal tea, then I haven’t really learned anything.
Thanks for the advice. The search continues……


only just saw now that you grabbed some teavivre like, this week. based on what you’ve said about the kind of flavors you want in a black tea i would highly recommend if you haven’t yet, trying those—the bailin gongfu, dian hong, golden monkey, and tan yang. assam has those malty qualities, as already mentioned too…i think most of the most active steepsters who like black tea share your tastes and love those famous types of chinese teas, and good chinese tea in general. all of them are sweeter, smoother, and richer than what i’m used to (until steepster i was mainly an indian tea person), with lots of bakery and caramel-y sweet potato things going on. and if you’re worried it’s “just” the company’s quality you’re responding to, you’ll be able to find out easily enough with those because they’re basic types of chinese tea that are available elsewhere (dian hongs and golden monkey in particular i see, sometimes with different names granted, lots of places).

and i know this is really off topic because you’re trying to find specific plain black teas you like as a general rule, but there are certain blends that sound like this (malty, robust, not astringent) to me too. just about all of andrews and dunham’s blends are like this (double knit blend’s my fave—just pure black tea flavor, strong, satisfying, bold but smooth).

i think the more tea i drink and like to varying degrees, the more i pay attention to what the leaves look like, where they come from, and how they’re processed (i didn’t like greens until i realized i like them bilochun-style, rolled/twisted a certain way, and that i prefer pan fried greens to steamed ones because they’re less bitter and more roasty, so now i know) to help me get a better understanding of what to look for in the future, even when source isn’t as black and white specified you can get a sense of what the teas you like tend to look like dry and most shops now show pics of that.

if you ever want a basic survey of some of the major types of teas around the world, how each is grown and processed and how that affects its flavor, i recommend the harney and sons guide to tea (it’s available on kindle too). it’s not 100% comprehensive (i haven’t found a guide that is yet), but i found it very helpful when i felt like i didn’t even know where or how to start because you don’t know enough to even know what to look for.

i ramble too much, sorry. i really hope you find what you’re looking for!


I didn’t mean to imply that I don’t have other black tea choices. I did just get an order from Teavivre, but to be honest, I’m still really confused with the language. I know these are Chinese blacks, but it’s like what you said about seeing dian hongs and golden monkey under different names. I haven’t learned to put those names together. My Davids tea excursion was looking for common name types. Assam, Yunnan, Darjeeling – those are names I see all the time. I’m just really confused and trying to learn. I thought picking up some standard, mid grade, common name teas was taking a deep breath and starting from the beginning.
I did also get a guide/handbook in the mail yesterday. Hoping to sort some of this out. I agree that the one I have isn’t totally comprehensive, and am open to looking for more/others to compliment this one. Will take a look for the Harney and Son’s one.
Yes, I understand that there are blends out there – lol probably hundreds of blend, but I thought I needed to know what assam, cylon, darjeeling taste like to be able to look at a blend and decide if it is something that I would like. Hense, the deep breath go back to the beginning thought.
I know from my oolong experiences that the shape of leaf is a clue to what the tea is like – I have learned something. So far with blacks I like longer twisted leaves (they almost look like oolong) better than the chopped up bits and pieces look. If that makes any sense. But then I’m drinking dragon pearls right now, so I guess you can’t always judge….
I appreciate your time, I am trying to wrap my head around what you are saying, and get the gist of most of it. I still think I need to try more teas, I was just hoping to eliminate some of the obvious ones before I ended up ordering 100 black teas trying to find a few similar to the one I’m really wanting. (I probably didn’t mention this – this all started because a wonderful generous steepsterite send me a sample of something called Jin Ping Gong Fu from Tao Tea Leaf. That’s all I know about it. I’ve drank her sample, ordered more from the company. LOVE it – can’t afford it to be my go to black tea. I’m looking for more like it. I thought gong fu was a brewing style, until I found more called gong fu at Teavivre, ordered some of those, and in the mean times started trying to learn more about black tea – the more I looked into it the more confused I got). And that leads up back to where I am today. Thanks again for the advice. I will keep posting notes as I go through my list. Kenya is on tap for tomorrow….will see how that goes.


ah, it’s late but thanks for the thoughtful reply. i’ll try to come back to this later. for now though, given what you’ve said—and believe me, i so hear you about the wall you hit when it comes to marketed tea names vis a vis chinese translation, ee!—i thought maybe this might be useful a bit. the rest of the site has some info that’s a little controversial/not proven to actually be accurate re: caffeine if i recall, which can then throw doubt towards everything, but it was one starting point for me along with a couple tea books, steepster discussions and logs from people who seem to know a lot about tea (so glad the search function for the board works!), wiki, and some of the info guides at places like teavivre and verdant.


This is such a great post! Thank-you for reviewing these Dexter3657!! And so many interesting and helpful comments – I am really going to learn a lot!

Terri HarpLady

Dexter, I am totally loving your posts right now, just thought you’d like to know! Through my ‘tea research’, I’ve discovered that most of the time I’m not a big fan of darjeelings, & even less of a fan of ceylon teas, but as I sample them anyway, I find that some are more enjoyable than others. I actually keep notes that I can refer back to to see if I’ve drank this tea or that, & would I like to drink it again, etc.
I have to second pretty much everything ifjuly said too!
Just remember, this is for fun & pleasure, & although reading about teas tells us so much, the most important part is your enjoyment! That applies to everything: Tea, Food, Music, Bubble Baths, etc. Anyway, if there’s ever anything you want to sample that I’ve got, just send me a list.


Thanks Terri. I’m not good at expressing tastes in teas. I’m not experienced enough. Lots of my posts are more about how a tea makes me feel rather than what it tastes like. I am trying to clarify WHY a tea makes me feel that way. Thanks for the support.
LOL I would love to crawl into your tea cupboard, and take a cup out into your garden, and maybe swipe a jar or two out of your pantry. At least in my mind (and based on some of the things you’ve posted here), I think you live in a quaint little character house, surrounded by flower and veggie garden. I miss my garden. Sorry that was off topic. I just like how your seem to enjoy your outdoor space. Thanks for the offer of tea, I may take you up on that one day. :)) Right now I need to learn, and try more of the ones I already have, then branch out from there. You’ve got a nice stash…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

125 tasting notes

This afternoon’s lunch tea. I’ve steeped it with a little bit of lavender and coconut (less lavender, more coconut) and it’s just like it suppose to be… fragrant and yummy.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Oh, Darjeeling you too today, really? Maybe Darjeeling is the new Pear???


Ha ha ha! Oh, don’t remind me about pear… I’ll start browsing tea websites again… I should really wait till next week though.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

1442 tasting notes

This sample was from a swap with Cavocorax. This is only my second time trying Darjeeling but I think I may like this stuff a lot.

The dry leaves smelled of honey and malt, and the cup tastes of smooth, bright honey, malt, and “summer woods”. I ate some Greek honey yogurt right before drinking the tea, so the honey may be enhanced and the briskness toned down to an afterthought in this particular cup. Or maybe the tea is enhancing the honey from the yogurt. Either way, creamy yogurt and this cup seem to be good companions.

Darjeeling usually smells a little of hay to me, in all the times I’ve sniffed the stuff in stores, but today it’s not that strong in this one. It’s still there but not blatantly obvious. Maybe that’s the yogurt again. Super tasty stuff, anyways.

side note: The David’s Tea sample packet that the tea was in said to steep this for five minutes but I’m too much of a weakling for that and steeped it a minute under. I also dumped the whole packet into a 24oz pot and filled it right to the top. Messy, imprecise prep.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

289 tasting notes

Dry Leaf Nose: Refreshing forest air. Woodsy with mushroom notes, cooling.

Liquor: Brown (dark honey type – 2nd flush) clear with a bright, spicy and woodsy aroma.

Flavour: Semi bright with a mild astringency, this Darjeeling captures the essence of the mountain region in which it’s grown. Woodsy, hardwood flavours of fresh mushroom and meadow flowers. Some honey notes with a delicate and fresh earthy character.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

652 tasting notes

1 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.


Lots of muscatel in the aroma, which is great. David’s Darjeeling had really disappointed me, being all earth and twig with not a hint of muscat, which, for me, is what makes Darjeeling tea so special. I only used 1 tsp instead of the recommended 1.25, because I’ve only got a little sample pack here and want to stretch it out. No fear: this Darjeeling is quite rich and fresh and easily forgives some skimping. Liquor is dark copper with gold. Aroma is redolent with muscat, as noted, and wood. Some honey and florals in the taste, a fair bit of earth — unusual for a Darjeeling, even a second flush. Dry leaves look a bit twiggy but also very tippy. I love Darjeeling and can be quite snooty about it, declining this estate over that. This one is really friggin good, provided you like the stronger second flushes. And muscat.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Astringent finish and aftertaste. Snappy. Lots of nuance. Oh, this one is GOOOOOD.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I’m guessing this is a multi-estate blend.


It’s OK to be snooty. I’m snooty about it in my own way too, but my Muscat love began with a dessert wine. I had my first excellent taste in Murphy’s,CA at Stevenot Winery. Here is their description.(Patience is a virtue when dealing with Muscat Canelli, as we wait until the latest possible harvest date, allowing for the highest sugar attainable, and the most concentrated complexity possible. The wine displays intense rose petal, dried apricot, peach, and mango, with a creamy toffee finish.) Remind you of tea reviews? I loved the short time when I could get fresh muscat grapes so small, pale and super sweet. Those experiences are my own measuring stick for anything MUSCAT.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Wow, that wine sounds amazing. I don’t drink alcohol, but that write-up sorely tempts me.

The first Darjeeling where I tasted muscat and fell in love was with, believe it or not, Stash Tea’s basic, entry-level, bagged Darjeeling blend. They don’t stock it anymore. It was gentle, with a creamy mouthfeel, but carried a wicked punch of muscat in taste and scent. Their Teas of India Second Flush Darjeeling comes close — and it one of my favourites, even bagged — but isn’t as sweet.

I’ve never been impressed with the tea from the Margaret’s Hope estate. I wanted to be; I love the estate name, and I love Darjeeling tea, but theirs always seems flat and a bit stale to me. The Seeyok estate’s is sharp and snappy, but not as heavy on the muscat taste as I’d like. And then you get some really awful alleged Darjeelings that taste like someone ground of a pine branch. Gah.

Have you tried the Himalayan Blend from DavidsTea yet? I’ve got that one in my sights. I’ve tasted some really, really good Nepal mountain teas that are grown outside the Darjeeling region but taste very similar to Darjeeling — soil and mountains, right?

Michelle Butler Hallett

ground of = ground up My typing is really bad.


The Darjeelings I’ve enjoyed most are the later flushes…almost NO flush from the Fall or after the monsoons. I think they remind me more of the Nepal tea’s that I love too. I’ve tasted a few Sri Lankan Green Tea’s that taste more like Darjeeling…especially a couple that I had from Stacy at Butiki. I’m not fond of astringency and find the later pickings mellower and deep with rich fruitiness. My opinion only. I tend to love full bodied tea, puerh, black tea, Nepalese tea. I’m a beast!


Thanks for the review! I have David’s Darjeeling and I like it (but haven’t tried any other ones for comparison). I wasn’t sure if this was a new blend, or just the old one under a new name. Guess I’ll give it a shot!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

1598 tasting notes

I own David’s Darjeeling and enjoy it, so I grabbed two samples of this for comparison.

It’s dark and musky, soft and smooth, slightly sweet and very earthy. It smells like a walk in the woods after the rain has stopped.

I’m drinking it in my forest mug too! I can’t tell if it’s better than the other Darjeeling but I do like it.


I have this strange recollection that someone at a DT store said that one “new” darjeeling was just David’s Darjeeling with a new name…. No idea if it would be this one or not.


I was wondering if they were the same, but I haven’t had my other long enough to really remember! It doesn’t look as though you can buy David’s Darjeeling anymore though: a search just brings up this or Himalayan Blend for Darjeeling.


I think this was just a rename to distinguish it from the one season where they carried a limited edition first flush version.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

250 tasting notes

“One minute you’re defending the whole galaxy, and, suddenly, you find yourself sucking down Darjeeling with Marie Antoinette… and her little sister.” -Buzz Lightyear (I quote this because every time I mention “Darjeeling” my husband busts out this line from Toy Story. Every. Single. Time)

Now this is a Darjeeling!

In fact, I was so excited by this tea that I made my husband take a couple sips in order for him to “taste the Darjeeling-ness”. His verdict: “Not bad for dirty water” (He’s a coffee + rooibos drinker) and with more prompting, “Yeah, it does taste better than Red Rose or Tetley.”

My verdict: fresh and surprisingly light for a Darjeeling! It dances on my tongue in a way that only a Darjeeling can, rich, mildly astringent, with a woodsy/vegetal finish that reminds me of drinking tea with my Gramma. This is a tea that would make a tea party complete, even one with Buzz Lightyear or Gramma.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

464 tasting notes

I can’t remember the last time I had a darjeeling outside of a breakfast blend, but this is the epitomy of the flavor I think of when I think “breakfast tea”: A little sweet, slightly bitter and tannic, just barely earthy, and almost fruity. No overly dry aftertaste.

I took this straight this morning because I’ve been trying to really taste my teas, but I do think this would have been improved with just a touch of honey and/or lemon. It did the trick of waking me up when I was stiff and sore this morning after my track workout last night. I didn’t want to mooooooove!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.