Today’s review focuses on the SFTGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Tea from the Shakira Tea Estate in eastern Nepal. Formed in 2000 by a group of tea farmers, the Shakira Tea Estate is now known for the high quality orthodox teas that are produced there. Other than this basic information, I was not able to find much information on this estate.
The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet, floral scent is escaping the packet. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves range in color from greenish-yellow to reddish-brown to black, with silver tips in the mix. There are some bare stems. The leaves are all medium sized fragments, and are machine rolled. The size of the fragments is quite consistent. The silver tips are also fragmented, and are covered in fine hairs. The stems show a two leaf pluck. The smell of the dry leaves carries scents of wild flowers, roses, candied dark cherries, dark chocolate, light hay, and wood.
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 suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every 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. Expect two quality infusions out of the same serving of leaves. Add 1:00 minute to the second infusion steep time. The second infusion will be notably lighter in character than the first.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a golden-orange color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of wild flowers, roses, honey, tart cherries, hay, and wood. The body is medium, with a mouth-filling, lively texture. There is a brisk quality that I have not found in most Nepal teas. The taste has notes of wild flowers, roses, dark chocolate, tart cherries, honey, hay, vanilla, and wood. There is a modest astringency. The aftertaste carries the notes of wood and hay, and a sweet, lightly floral essence can be felt on the breath.
The infused leaves range in color from greenish-brown to reddish-brown. All leaves and tips are medium sized fragments. There are some bare stems in the mix. The leaves have a soft, smooth texture. The smell has scents of cocoa, flowers, wood, vanilla, cherries, and honey.
The Shakira SFTGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Nepal Tea had some unique qualities, and a nice blend of aromas and flavors. Notably, the brisk character of the tea was unique and, being an admirer of the brisk quality of Ceylon and high grown South India teas, allowed me to enjoy this tea on another level. Although I do admit that when it comes to Nepal teas, there are other products that I prefer over this one. This is a good quality tea, no doubt, and I have nothing specific to say in terms of negative opinions. I enjoyed the experience, and will be happy to experience it again.
Thank you to Ankit Lochan at Surajmukhi Tea Company for providing this sample of Shakira SFTGFOP1 2nd Flush 2014 Nepal Tea. Cheers!