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Organic Darjeeling Makaibari Estate 1st Flush Black Tea

Purchase Options

$31.50 USD
113 servings, 28¢ per serving
$15.25 USD
38 servings, 40¢ per serving
$4.50 USD
6 servings
Shipping to USA and Canada
  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Steeping
  • Health

This organic loose tea from the 2016 first flush harvest is biodynamically farmed at the Makaibari estate in India's Darjeeling district. Established in 1859, Markaibari is the oldest estate in Darjeeling, where a strong commitment to sustainable farming prevails. This Fair Trade Certified organic Indian tea is made from the celebrated first harvest of early Spring, called the "first flush." Its light, floral cup has a fragrance all its own, with nuances of green and black tea.

Our First Flush Darjeeling has a bright, lemony infusion with punchy astringency and classic first flush character. This year's first flush has additional notes of lime and honey that are balanced by the fruity notes of Muscat grape. We recommend infusing first flush Darjeeling organic black tea with a slightly lower water temperature and shorter steeping time than that of other black teas.

Ingredients: organic Indian black tea


Serving Size: one rounded teaspoon (1.25) per 8 oz cup of water

Staff Perspectives


Aubrey Says: Light and VERY dry - if there were bubbles, you'd practically have champagne!


Jeremy Says: The flavors of this black tea are so delicate that I don't recommend taking it with milk.

Write your own product review

  1. Good Darjeeling

    Posted by McKinley L. on 4th Jan 2017

    This is the first "first flush" Darjeeling I've ever had. I enjoyed it and it was very true to style, at least based upon the other few Darjeelings that I've had. I wasn't blown away, but then again, I rarely drink Darjeelings or black tea in general, so I'm not sure that I was expecting to be. It's fairly smooth, with some mild fruity, floral, and earthy flavors released over a few steeps. Much lighter than normal black teas but with some of the more earthy or malty qualities I don't get from a lot of green tea. The leaves were almost entirely broken into bits and segments, which I wasn't expecting, though I don't think that negatively affected the taste.

  2. Thumbs up!

    Posted by Kara on 3rd Jun 2016

    The first flush darjeeling brews like it's almost a green tea, only yellower in color. It has a citrusy, almost dry-like flavor profile to it, which I can now understand why darjeeling is called the "champagne of teas." Definitely a good-quality darjeeling to be found here.

  3. No category for this one

    Posted by Benjamin Hartwick on 2nd Apr 2015

    Is it really a black tea? Maybe technically, but it’s not green either, is comparable only to its cousin, the 2nd flush Darjeeling, and it has a fragrance I simply cannot pin down. The closest I can come is “floral,” but there is also something in it that hints at some sort of evergreen, but not pine needles, something else. When brewed, it has the most golden color of any tea I have yet seen. In fact, I would say that has the most appealing color of any tea I have ever brewed. Just looking at it’s color is uplifting. It is not dissimilar to its cousin, the 2nd flush Darjeeling, but it does not evoke the rich mulch of a forest floor the way the 2nd flush does. I guess I would say it tastes younger, more “sprout-like” (sproutier?) if that makes sense. It’s more vibrant but also less complex even though it remains for me one of the most complex teas I regularly drink. It’s bright, cheery and uplifting with a definite citrus tone. I like both the 1st and 2nd flush -- they compliment each other -- but if push came to shove, I would choose the 2nd flush, which is on the blacker end of the spectrum than this tea. Having said that, if I could never have the 2nd flush and could only have this, it would still satisfy my love of Darjeeling, but the experience would be less intoxicating.

  4. subtle taste

    Posted by Steve on 21st Jun 2012

    As other reviewers noted, the key is to follow the brewing directions; a bit lower water temperature and a shorter brew time produce a delicate tea that is well worth cost (and a true value at the coupon-reduced price). I look forward to next year's crop.

  5. deliciously floral

    Posted by Unknown on 13th Feb 2012

    it has refreshing, light floral flavor that is terrific for a late afternoon. the lack of bitterness makes it very easy to drink. a good 'relaxing' cup of tea.

  6. First flush

    Posted by Alan Babbitt on 26th Apr 2009

    I brewed the Makaibari Darjeeling 1st flush in the same way I brew most tea which is Gongfu style using a small clay pot and a short steeping time. I used 7 grams (about 2 tablespoons of this tea) in 200ml of water with a first steeping of 30 seconds. The resulting brew was a light golden color much lighter than you might expect for a "black" tea. The predominant aroma is almost exactly like beer wort clean and malty. The flavor is light and clean with all the characteristics of a typical darjeeling but much more delicate and subtle and with almost no astringency. The tea is almost all broken leaves so I was only able to get three steeping out of this before the astringency and bitterness asserted themselves. A very satisfying tea.

  7. brisk and peachy

    Posted by Jason Walker on 31st Mar 2009

    this 1st flush delivered briskness peach tartness and a hint that reminded me of floral wulong - Watch the full video review at walkerteareview.com

  8. Any way you brew it...

    Posted by Bill Edwards on 7th Nov 2008

    I bought a sample of this and brewed it before reading the suggestion to use a lower temp and shorter brew time. As a result the flavor was not subtle but smokey or toasted. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I did a second brew per instructions and this was more delicate. I sensed flavors that had me say "what is that I am tasting?" I gave up trying to identify it and just enjoyed it. The tea brews to a light bronze color unusual for a black tea.


We at Arbor Teas firmly believe that tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. With that being said, here are some recommendations to get you started, but please remember you can make adjustments based on your own personal taste.

There are three main considerations when brewing tea: quantity of tea, water temperature and steeping time.


Quantity of tea: one rounded teaspoon (1.25) per 8 oz cup of water


Water temperature: we recommend infusing first flush Darjeeling black teas with a slightly lower water temperature and shorter steeping time than that of other black teas. Use water that has been heated until the first bubbles begin to rise from the bottom of the pot (195° F).


Steeping time: 3-4 minutes

Tip #1: Use fresh water whenever possible - water that has been sitting in your kettle overnight may impart a flat or stale taste to your tea. Be careful not to boil your water for too long. Over boiled water can sometimes impart an unwanted taste.

Tip #2: Keep in mind that brewing your tea for too long can extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves, so steeping time matters! For a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea.

Learn more from our How To Guides on how to brew loose leaf tea, how to make iced tea, and how to make tea lattes. And don’t forget to check out our Eco-Brewing Tips, too!


There are five significant components found in all tea from the plant camellia sinensis: essential oils, which are the source of tea’s delicious flavor and aroma; polyphenols, which are antioxidants that provide the tea’s brisk flavor and many of its health benefits; phytonutrients, which are small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids including L-theanine (a very rare molecule that has been found in only three sources including camellia sinensis!) ; enzymes; and methylxanthines, which are a family of alkaloids that include caffeine. Each of these components work differently in the human body and a full description is best left to a medical journal. However, recent research exploring the potential health attributes of tea is leading many scientists to agree that tea, may contribute positively to a healthy lifestyle.

For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Health Benefits check here.

For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Caffeine check here.