Happy New Year to all of my readers! I hope this year brings as many interesting reviews as 2014. Let’s get started!
While the experience of the Orthodox Golden Mystique Black Tea from Heritage Tea Assam Company is fresh in my mind, I decided to review a product from another tea estate located in the same area of Dibrugarh, India. Today’s review will focus on the TGFOP1 Clonal Tippy 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea from Hattialli Tea Estate. This sample was provided by Lochan Tea.
Hattialli Tea Estate was given it’s name because of an elephant camp that was located near the grounds of the estate. “Hatti Alli” translates to elephant camp. Hattialli consists of about 408 total hectares of land under tea cultivation, with 164 hectares consisting of clonal tea bush cultivation. Hattialli employs about 650 workers. Hattialli is gaining a very positive reputation for producing consistently high quality orthodox teas over the past few years. With that being said, I am ready to have my first experience with their products.
The sample packet has been opened, and the first thing I noticed is the generous portion of golden tips in the mix. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a uniform black color, with a generous portion of golden tips. All leaves and tips are small to medium sized fragments, and are machine rolled. There are a few bare stems in the mix. The size and shape of the leaves are quite consistent. The leaves are very dry, and crack easily into coarse crumbles. The smell has scents of raw cacao, dried raisins, roses, sweet wood, and a pleasant touch of 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 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 to 4:00 minutes. Expect two infusions out of the same serving of leaves, and expect the second infusion to be significantly lighter than the first, but still worth drinking. Add 1:00 minute to the second infusion steep time.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a bold, deep red color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of malt, raisin, black pepper, sweet wood, and light rose. The body is full, with a smooth, velvety mouthfeel, and a pleasantly brisk character. The astringency is surprisingly moderate. The taste has notes of malt, cacao, raisin, black pepper, sweet wood, roses, and light toasted grains. The aftertaste is reminiscent of a sweet red wine, and leaves a dry feel in the mouth.
The infused leaves have a uniform copper-brown color. All leaves and tips are small to medium sized fragments. There is a generous portion of tips in the mix, and a few bare stems. The size and shape of the fragments are fairly consistent. The smell has scents of raisins, grapes, roses, malt, red wine, and black pepper.
The TGFOP1 Clonal Tippy 2nd Flush 2014 Black Tea from Hattialli Tea Estate in the Assam region of India is a classic Assam black tea that provides a full bodied and satisfying experience. A splash of cream will help to tone this perfect morning tea down a bit. The cream is not necessary, in my opinion, and I did not find this tea to be overwhelming with it’s moderate astringency. However, I do believe a casual tea drinker will find it more palatable with the addition of a cream or sweetener of some sort. The color of this tea liquor was simply beautiful, and gave a perfect first impression of the full taste that lied ahead.
Thanks to the Lochan family and Lochan Tea for providing this sample of Hattialli TGFOP1 Clonal Tippy 2nd Flush 2014 Assam Black Tea. Cheers!