Plucking cycle in relation to quality of Darjeeling teas

by Dr. N. G. Hajra | Intl. Conf. Plantation Crops Research and Development in the New Millennium (PLACROSYM XIV), 12-15 Dec., 2000, Hyderabad, India, 436-441.


The study was conducted in chinary teas in Darjeeling hills maintained at 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 days plucking rounds. A distinct pattern was found in the chemical composition of these teas. Chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, total carotenes, lipids, crude fibre and dry matter content were found to increase along with the length of plucking rounds. However, total oliphenols declined in the same order. No plucking cycle produced consistent quality score through out the season. During the first and second flush a five and six days plucking cycle produced better quality teas as compared to the conventional seven days cycle. For the post second flush however seven days cycle produced better quality teas while for autumn flush six days cycle proved promising. Flavour index of such teas was also observed high. Consistent increase in chlorophyll’s and carotenoids upto seven days plucking rounds and thereafter depletion of their content for longer plucking rounds perhaps suggest that plucking cycle in Darjeeling teas should not be extended beyond seven days. Further, it is concluded that quality of Darjeeling teas may be maintained by varying appropriate plucking cycle from flush throughout the season.