The Tealeaves of Darjeeling 1st Flush is green color, even though tea is well known as black tea. The Following reason will explain you why it is green in color.
First Flush Has Green Leaves
There are 3 types of tea produced in Darjeeling , the First Flush, Second Flush and Autumnal Tea. The color of 2nd Flush and Autumnal Darjeeling Tea are in orange-brown. These two types of tea are look like a “Black Tea”. On the Contrary, the color of 1st flush leaves is Green and its liquor color is creamy yellow.
First Flush is made green for purpose
Some people say that Darjeeling 1st Flush is green because it has less polyphenol and this is the character of a spring tea. However, this saying is not true. The tea Manufacturers intentionally want to make Darjeeling 1st Flush look green. Darjeeling 1st Flush tea could be made into orange-brown color if the manufacturers allow the tea to have sufficient fermentation. They purposely reduce its fermentation level so that it looks green and fresh.
Earlier, Darjeeling 1st Flush was not green
According to the Manufacturer, in the old days the color of first flush tea was similar to autumnal tea. The tea is green due to the market demand. The main buyers of Darjeeling 1st flush are from Japan and Germany, demands in these market played an important role in influencing the fermentation level of Darjeeling 1st flush. For now, all the tea gardens in Darjeeling process lighter fermented 1st flush tea, that is why all the 1st flush tea we see in market are in green color.
Reason why the First Flush is green
The withering process is the key process for making a black tea. Withering is a process where tealeaves were spread evenly over a perforated plate or bamboo tray and gradually reduced its moisture content .The objective of withering it to enable rolling process to be carried on easily. With lower moisture content inside the leaf, its texture gets softer and more elastic. Once the leaves have less moisture content, it takes a longer time for the leaves to ferment as it became harder to activate the oxidation of enzyme inside the tealeaves. It is just like a dehydrated apple can hardly change into brown color, even if it is cut in half and exposed to the air.