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  • Writer's pictureNeldon Hamblin

Sipping Springtime: Nepal Tea Collective's First Flush Black Tea

Hi, friends! I was recently approached by Nepal Tea Collective to review their First Flush black tea, a tea picked and processed on March 5th, 2024. Nepal Tea Collective is one of my favorite vendors (their kumari gold is a phenomenal black tea and their white prakash is a favorite) and I always love running into them at the World Tea Expo, so naturally I agreed and they sent a 100g bag of their first flush my way.

So, what exactly is this tea? In essence, it's the freshest black tea available from Nepal annually, being picked and processed in early March and shipped globally by the end of March/early April. This tea is processed and picked by the Kanchanjangha Tea Estate, Nepal's first certified organic tea farm, established in 1984. For lack of a better comparison, it's almost darjeeling-like in terms of oxidation and elevation of the tea plants, though it could not be more unique.

Their first flush black tea is, in their words, "the only harvest that is available to order within 20 days of its plucking making it the freshest tea one can savor." According to them, their first flush is one of the rarest and "most delicate" blooms in South Asian tea, steeped in Nepalese tradition. They mention that "In Nepal, the First Flush isn't just a tea harvest, it's a cultural celebration. Astrologers mark the most auspicious time, and with blessings from the Gods, the delicate first flush leaves are plucked. This reverence reflects the belief that the First Flush is more than just a warm cup of tea; it symbolizes fresh beginnings and a promise of a bountiful year ahead" (Nepal Tea Collective, 2024).

So, without further ado, let's dive into this review.

Brewing Parameters:

2g leaf

8oz (around 240ml, 236.5ml to be exact)

212°F/100°C water

the dried leaves
Dry leaves

Dry Leaves: The dry leaves have a sweet brown sugar and grass aroma, with a note of something almost like a plum or a raisin. There's also a slightly peppery smell to them. Overall, they smell incredibly sweet and fresh and remind me of Spring.

Warmed leaves: The leaves, when warmed, have a nice, Russian-olive tree like aroma, coupled with artichokes and fresh greenery.

This is the first steep, a golden brew, with the dried leaves and fairness pitcher.
The First Steep with Leaves

First steep 5mins:

Wow. This is insanely smooth. I'm getting a nice, bright citrusy flavor, combined with orchid orchid. It's super floral and fresh. There's a sort of grassy melon note (kind of like a honeydew melon) and a slight toasted pine nut flavor. It seriously smells like citrus.

There's a light tannic astringency, with a mild drying to the roof of my mouth, but not much; for brewing 5mins, it is insanely impressive how smooth it is. It's reminiscent of a Darjeeling, but instead of muscatel, we get honeydew and citrus. It's quite unique honestly and I keep sipping this.

It has a strong depth to it, but the artichoke flavor keeps popping. It's a tea with insanely fresh and bright flavors and is incredibly refreshing overall, especially for a black tea. I feel like I could chug several mugs of this and feel like I've been drinking an oolong or something lighter!

Second Steep with the Dry Leaves
Second Steep with Dry Leaves

Second Steep 6mins:

I steeped this for 6mins, as they suggested resteeping for an extra minute. This one had a bit more astringency and bite to it, but the flavor was still deliciously refreshing. It has retained that grassy melon note with a citrus undertone.

Final Thoughts:

This is quite a special tea. At the price of $30.00/100g, or $0.30 cents per gram, it delivers a refreshing dose of spring with each sip. It's wild that this was picked so recently, too, and was shipped to me basically a month after picking. The unique terroir of the Kanchanjangha tea estate coupled with the runoff from the Himalayan snowmelt has created a truly unique tea that is a delight to experience. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a nice, floral tea while also wanting to experience possibly the freshest tea on the market- after all, it doesn't get much fresher than that. This was truly an enjoyable tea and Nepal Tea Collective has delivered yet again.

23 views2 comments


Nishchal Banskota
Nishchal Banskota
Apr 24

Love the first flush review Neldon! It was truly an amazing tea this year!

Neldon Hamblin
Neldon Hamblin
Apr 24
Replying to

Thank you so much, Nish!! Glad you enjoyed the review. It really was phenomenal and one that I've been sipping frequently lately! ☺️

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