Today’s review will focus on the Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (SFTGFOP) Black Tea, sourced from the foothills of Mount Kanchenjunga in Nepal. This tea appears to processed in a very similar manner to Darjeeling second flush teas.
Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves vary in color, with a few being a bright green, some being reddish, while the majority are dark brown and black. There is a generous amount of silver tips in the mix. The leaves are all small to medium fragments, and rolled. Again, the appearance is very similar to a Darjeeling second flush. The aroma is very pleasant, with strong scents of cocoa, cherry, and a lightly floral hint.
Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 195°F (90°C). The leaves were infused for three minutes.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright amber-orange color, clear and transparent. The aroma fills the room with scents of roses, cocoa, and light cherries. The body is medium-full, with a lively, mouth-filling texture. The taste is very floral, with strong notes of roses, slightly lighter jasmine, with softer notes of cocoa and cherries. The aftertaste is sweet and floral, and a lingering flowery essence can be felt on the breath.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a lighter shade of amber-orange color. The aroma has lightened some, but retains a dominantly floral character, with very light scents of cocoa. The body has lightened some. The taste has also lightened, with the floral notes remaining dominant, but the cocoa note seems to be more recognizable in the second infusion. The aftertaste is floral, and the essence has lost some strength, but is still present.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a slightly lighter shade of golden orange color. The aroma lightened some from the second infusion, and remains dominantly floral, with a touch of cocoa. The body and taste also lightened. The taste remains mostly floral, and the cocoa note has lightened but is still recognizable.
The infused leaves vary in color from dark green, light to dark brown, and black. All leaves are small to medium fragments. There are some small bare stems in the mix. Stems show a two leaf and bud pluck. There are a generous amount of tips in the mix. The aroma has scents of cocoa, roses, and light cherries.
I am hoping to have a sample or two remaining of a second flush Darjeeling tea from 2013. I would like to find the time to compare this Nepal SFTGFOP with a similar grade Darjeeling second flush. The primary difference between the two, as far as I was able to tell, is that the Nepal tea had more of a cherry taste than a grape taste, like a Darjeeling. The floral rose and jasmine notes are very similar to a Darjeeling. The combination of cocoa and cherries made the aroma and taste of this tea very comforting. I am looking forward to comparing these teas side by side with some Darjeeling varieties. The side by side comparisons tell the real stories of each tea.
Have a nice weekend everyone. Pittsburgh will finally have some spring temperatures, so I will be outside preparing my flowers beds for more friendly weather. My roses will be given steeped tea leaves for some nutritional benefit, and I will be happy drinking more tea to provide more food for the roses. Cheers!