1. First flush is harvested in mid-March following spring rains, and has a gentle, very light colour, aroma, and mild astringency.
2. In between is harvested between the two "flush" periods.
3. Second flush is harvested in June and produces an amber, full-bodied, muscatel-flavored cup. 這自己隻買這種茶葉。
4. Monsoon or rains tea is harvested in the monsoon (or rainy season) between second flush and autumnal, is less withered, consequently more oxidized, and usually sold at lower prices. It is rarely exported, and often used in masala chai.
5. Autumnal flush is harvested in the autumn after the rainy season, and has somewhat less delicate flavour and less spicy tones, but fuller body and darker colour. 這種適合做茶葉蛋或者做珍珠奶茶。
When Darjeeling teas are sold, they are graded by size and quality. The grades fall into four basic groups: whole leaf, broken leaf, fannings, and dust. 每個group又有不同的grade。我喜歡買Whole leaf 茶葉，這裏就隻寫 Whole leaf 的grade:
1. SFTGFOP: Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe indicates it contains many tips and is long and wiry in appearance. The liquors are lighter in colour. 對我來說顏色太淡。
2. FTGFOP1: Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. 我的最愛，最香。The tea has a lot of fine, light coloured tips. Tips are of lighter shades since they do not contain as much cell sap that turns dark during fermentation. FOP1 allows conclusions about the care with which the tea was plucked – just two leaves and a bud. The coarser leaves remain on the tea bush. Only teas from Darjeeling that meet premium standards will bear the number 1.
3. TGFOP: Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. 顏色深一點，還是不夠香。
As a general rule you may keep in mind the longer the string of letters, the better the tea. FTGFOP1 will ensure a superior quality tea that has been carefully and diligently manufactured.