Currently, we're open Seven Days / Week. We specialize in over 250 varieties of the world’s finest Teas, Herbal Varieties and Tisanes. Voila! in Frederick has something for everyone. In addition to loose-leaf teas, tea wares and brewing accessories are available. Ten different varieties of honey, natural sugars and many tea infused products offered. As a result of the owner’s passion for quality, comfortable furnishings, Old Hickory Tannery furniture is also offered at Voila!
Tea is said to “Flush” which means it produces new growth when not in a dormant state. “Flush” can also mean the young shoots of the tea which form the harvest.
The term “Flush” has special significance to the Darjeeling Region Teas (from India) which weʼll focus on here. The Darjeeling region, located in the north-east of India, clad in delicate mists, is well known for the freshness of its climate and pure air quality. Located at an altitude of roughly between 1300 and 8200 feet, there are more than 80 tea plantations. Some refer to Darjeeling Teas as “Godʼs gift to Mankind”.
The tea from Darjeeling is highly sought and typically exported to Germany, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia and the Netherlands. The teas possess unique flavors that can not be replicated anywhere else in the world. Although it has the highest rate of counterfeit attempts. Darjeeling primarily produces black orthodox teas but does produce a marginal amount of Oolong and Green Teas. Quality and price vary greatly from Darjeeling. There are typically four harvests annually in Darjeeling where each offer their own flavor characteristics:
First Flush ~ Eagerly awaited by tea lovers worldwide! The first pick of the plant during Spring months of March to April. The First Flush is one of the more sought after crops. They are produced in small quantities and possess great aromatic and delicate qualities that have earned them the nickname “the champagne of tea”. Typically flavor notes are floral (rose), herbaceous (fresh almond, grape) and sometimes exotic fruit.
Second Flush ~ The second pick of the plant in Summer (before the monsoon season in May through June). Another highly sought after crop. This harvest takes place at the height of production. The processing typically endures a greater oxidation which produces a more brown liquor in the cup with more opulent woody and fruity scents
(almost like stewed fruit). This is a well balanced cup.
Monsoon Flush ~ The third harvest of the plant typically during the rainy season months of July and August. This flush is typically known as a mediocre crop.
Autumnal Flush ~ The last harvest of the plant after the monsoon season & before winter dormancy (dormancy lasts about 3.5 months). The production volume decreases rapidly. The color of the Autumnal Flush liquor is copper leaning orange. The dry leaf to the nose is spicy burnt wood with an impression of gingerbread. While the flavor of the brewed tea leaves is very pronounced with a background of wood, honey and cooked fruit.
Darjeeling Teas should be brewed at 185 degrees F for just 3 minutes for optimal flavor. You should always save your tea leaves to reinfuse for multiple cups. At Voila! in Frederick, we offer the Makaibari Estate Darjeeling (organic) as well as Margaretʼs Hope Estate Darjeeling in both in 1st, 2nd and Autumnal Flushes!