The autumnal leaves produce a liquor colored a ruddy copper, bright auburn, even burgundy. What a surprise to see claret tones glowing in the white tasting cup!
The final flush is short, just a few weeks or so on each side of the Diwali holiday celebrated at the end of October or early November.
So far from the greenish golds of spring. Sipped, the tea’s flavor is round and more robust than that of the previous flushes, with mellowed hints of musky spice and smoke. There is a sparkle, a slight kick even.
For many insiders, these are the year’s finest teas, a last and final offering from the bushes. But they don’t get much
By the second and third week of November, the harvesting year winds down. Nights get colder, and then the days, too. Production slows. A batch tasting may consist of just a single tea or two.
The last of the leaves are brought in and processed. Workers pack the final chests of tea for the warehouses in Kolkata. A scattering of leaves has been left on the trees by workers, anxious to begin pruning.