The subject of today’s review is the Satemwa TSFBOP1 Black Tea from the Satemwa Tea Estate, located near Thyolo, in the Shire Highlands of Malawi. I have covered Satemwa Tea Estate fairly well on The Tea Journeyman Shop page introducing Satemwa. To read more about this beautiful estate that makes some truly incredible and unique teas, please click here.
As a tea enthusiast makes their way through the vastly different world of teas that come from each country or region, they are destined to be faced with some terminology or grading abbreviations that are new to them. This is one of those times for me. It is the “S” in TSFBOP1 that is throwing me off. In India or Nepal, for example, you will find TGFBOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe). Satemwa puts silver tips in this grade, which makes me believe that their distinct grading may be Tippy “Silver” Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe. That is my guess. If anyone has the correct breakdown of the abbreviation, please feel free to comment on this post so that I may revise as necessary.
Before we get started, this is a reminder of the 20% off sale going on at http://www.teajourneymanshop.com/. The sale runs through 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, August 24th. Use coupon code TJS20% at checkout.
The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet scent of dried tropical fruit and citrus is being enjoyed already. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a blend of black and copper brown colors, with a few silver tips and red stem fibers. All leaves and tips are small fragments, consistent with the BOP grading. The leaves are rolled. There are some bare stems, as well as stem fibers, in the mix. The leaves are very dry, and crumble easily. The aroma has scents of raw cocoa, dried tropical fruit, dried citrus, and spice.
Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.
My suggestions for at home brewing is to use three grams per six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 205°F (96°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 minutes.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a lively reddish-amber color, clear and transparent. The aroma is sweet, with scents of malt, wet forest floor, and citrus. The body is full, with a thick, smooth texture. The taste has notes of malt, citrus, light earth, and light wood. The aftertaste is sweet and brisk, and clean feeling is left in the mouth.
The infused leaves are mostly copper to reddish-brown, with a few greenish-brown leaves. The leaves are all small fragments. There are few bare stems, and a few tips in the mix. The leaves have a soft, smooth texture. The aroma has scents of citrus, light tropical fruit, malt, and wet forest floor.
This Satemwa TSFBOP1 Black Tea is worthy of taking more seriously as a possible future product at The Tea Journeyman Shop. This is a full bodied, robust black tea that is as close to perfectly balanced as I have found in full black teas. It is not overwhelming enough to need milk added, such as many Assam black teas, but is definitely heavy enough to take milk well. I believe that this tea could suit the preferences of many people, such as drinkers of English or Irish Breakfast teas, Assam teas, low grown Ceylon black teas, Keemun Hao Ya, and Yunnan Golden teas, among others. Honestly, I wish I would have given this product a more proper analysis when I first received these samples, because it would already be available at http://www.teajourneymanshop.com/! Well, it may soon be available anyway. I will keep you posted.
Thanks to Satemwa Tea Estates for the sample, and it was another excellent experience from one of my preferred estates. Cheers!