Jing Tea launch new award-winning first flush Darjeeling

Tea company Jing has discovered its new Darjeeling tea through a competition introduced to support, develop and celebrate India’s tea industry.

The Darjeeling region has over 150 years of tea making history and grows a selection of uniquely fragrant teas. The first flush harvest takes place in late March and is the very first plucking of the season’s leaves.

While on a trip to Darjeeling in 2018, Jings founder, Ed Eisler felt it was important to present Darjeeling in a fresh light, distinct from its commoditised past and instead celebrate its exceptional craftsmanship, community and quality of tea.

Having been inspired by the provenance and skill driven, single origin approach of China and Japan, Ed decided to launch the Jing Tea Excellence at Origin Competition – to celebrate the quality of authentic tea craftsmanship and encourage the retention of skills needed to protect the heritage of expert tea-making.

The competition winning garden was Seeyok. Founded in 1869 in Mirik Valley, Seeyok now employs a team of over 460, of which 95% are female and became organic in 1994 (one of the longest certified in India). An FLO-registered (Fairtrade) garden, Seeyok is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the local community, offering health care, sanitation and free education to its workers and their families. By working with the local community, they also have a say in how the estate gives back.

Ed Eisler said: “Darjeeling offers consumers one of the most delicious and unique tea drinking experiences because of its special climate, its location at the foot of the Himalayas, the skill of its producers and the distinctive production methods – these things present a great opportunity for consumers and producers alike. Through the Jing Excellence at Origin Competition we can celebrate the place, the skill of the local tea masters and encourage the younger generation to take up the art of tea making.”

Seeyok estate director Guatam Mohan said: “Drinking Darjeeling tea is an experience to be savoured – it captures the essence of spring in the stunning Himalayas and can’t be rushed. This special tea is geographically protected which means you can’t grow Darjeeling anywhere else in the world and we are excited to be working with Jing and for customers to try it.”

Jing Excellence at Origin Competition

Jing invited all Rainforest Alliance-certified and Fairtrade-certified Darjeeling tea gardens to enter the competition, with the aim of rewarding and promoting excellence in the region’s tea industry. Entries were rigorously judged on characteristics, such as quality of flavour, freshness, balance, clarity, mouthfeel, aroma and visual appearance.

Seeyok Estate’s entry was chosen as the unanimous winner.

The new Organic Darjeeling First Flush tea is now available on Jing’s online shop.

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