If you’re a tea enthusiast, you may have heard of the debate between first flush and second flush teas. The argument centers around the seasonality of teas and why different blends can taste differently at different times of the year. But what is a ‘flush’, and what are the differences between first flush and second flush tea? Let’s find out!


What is a Flush?

In simple terms, a ‘flush’ is when new leaves appear on the tea bush following a period of dormancy. It usually occurs twice in a year – once in springtime (the first flush) and again in summer (the second flush). It’s important to note that not all teas have two flushes; some only have one flush each year.


The Differences Between First Flush & Second Flush Tea

The most obvious difference between first flush and second flush teas is their flavor profile. Generally speaking, first flush teas tend to be light-bodied with grassy notes and subtle vegetal aromas. On the other hand, second flush teas tend to be fuller-bodied with more intense flavors such as muscatel or stone fruit sweetness. 

They also tend to have less astringency than their first-flush counterparts.  Additionally, there are also differences in appearance between first-flush and second-flush teas – most notably, second-flush teas tend to be darker than their lighter-colored counterparts.

This is because during the dormant period, the tea bush accumulates more nutrients which can change its color after it has been picked for processing into tea.  


All in all, there are many differences between first flush and second flush tea that make them distinct from one another. While both types of tea are equally delicious in their own way, it really comes down to personal preference when deciding which one you prefer. 

Whether you like your tea light or full-bodied, there’s sure to be something out there that fits your flavor profile – so why not experiment with different flushes until you find your favorite? Happy tasting!

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