Gielle 1st Flush Darjeeling

Tea type
Darjeeling Tea
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
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Average preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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From Harney & Sons

Formally: Gielle 1st Flush 2015 Darjeeling

This First Flush is done in an older style that accents the lighter aromas of Darjeeling, but still delivers body. This beautiful estate is set off to the side, away from most other Darjeeling estates, and this discreet locale aptly suits the owners of Gielle. They do what they think is best – in particular, to use the old “Chinese” tea bushes and to make an older style First Flush Darjeeling. Understated notes of flowers, citrus and a touch of nut flavor.

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

3 Tasting Notes

2238 tasting notes

I should probably say upfront that first flush Darjeeling is one of my favourite varieties of black tea, so this one is preaching to the converted with me.

Read my full review here:

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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2714 tasting notes

There is so much I do not know about tea, and I know the least about Darjeeling.

The first one I had was from A Southern Season. I thought it was “normal” black tea and I made it that way. I got a stomach ache. Then I read that it should have a shorter steep and tried it that way. It was better, but I still preferred Chinese teas and focused on them, having only a few Indian teas over the years. So I feel ill equipped to tell a Darjeeling lover about this tea, but I can tell what this tea lover found.

Dry Leaf Scent: bright, high, green, fresh, sharp-ish, with a hint of latex like a good oolong has.
Liquor: golden yellow, which always surprises me since Darjeeling is a “black” tea.
Taste: I am surprised to find myself thinking, "What magic is this? A Darjeeling that reminds me of Chinese green, a Darjeeling that has me thinking that this would be good to serve to my picky husband who only likes black tea drowned in milk and sugar, or green, white, or oolong plain. Yes, I am thinking that he would like this with our Asian takeout dinners.

The body is listed as medium in their description, but it has a creamy mouthfeel that makes me lean toward saying it is really creamy medium. The flavor is much like the scent of the dry leaves, but there is a little nut flavor underneath it all, with a tingle of citrus and grass, especially as it cools. I am reminded of Chun Mei. The taste and creamy feel really linger, like my tongue is swaddled in the last sip. It really fills the mouth and sinuses. And yet, it is light!

Having tasted it, I looked at the company description on their website. Chinese tea bushes, lighter style of processing… well, of course it all makes sense now!

My youngest daughter is drinking it with me. This is her first Darjeeling and she says that while she is not good at identifying and describing scents, she is on her second cup and says, “This is really good.”

And now we have polished off the whole pot! Thank you, Russell and Harney and Sons, for the opportunity to expand my palate!


I generally use water at 195 F or there abouts. I’m no Darjeeling expert but for me that helps alleviate the stomach issue. Anyway, glad to see you have found an apparent keeper.


Thank you, K S! I did try 203F for three minutes with this one and had no stomach ache. With heftier, darker ones I will try that lower temp for three minutes.

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