Organic FBOP Black Tea from Poabs Organic Estate in Kerala, India

Today’s review will focus on the Organic FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe) Black Tea from the Poabs Organic Estate, located in the Nelliyampathy Hills, near the eastern border of the Kerala state of southern India. Poabs Organic Estate produces more than just tea, including organic coffee, pepper, and cardamom, among several other spices, vegetables, and fruits. Vanilla plant cultivation is also under development. Banana trees and orange trees can also be found in the estate. The entire estate consists of 350 hectares (865 acres) of land, and has an average elevation of 3,500 feet (1,065 meters) above sea level. For more information on Poabs Organic Estate, please visit their website by clicking here.

In the past, I have reviewed some very enjoyable black teas from Poabs Organic Estate, and I look forward to refreshing those positive memories now. The sample packet has been opened, and a spicy, toasty scent is escaping the packet. Let the journey begin…

Poabs Organic FBOP Black Tea Dry Leaves
Poabs Organic FBOP Black Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a uniform dark brown-black color, with golden tip fragments in the mix. The leaves are uniform small leaf fragments, consistent with the FBOP grade. The leaves are machine rolled. The leaves have a very dry, rigid texture. There are a few stems in the mix. The smell carries scents of toasted grains/seeds, cardamom, pepper, caramel, dry freshly cut wood chips, and light wild flowers. The smell is very welcoming and uplifting.

Three grams of 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 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 a single quality infusion out of the same serving of leaves. A second infusion is always possible, but will produce a significantly lighter tea liquor. Add 1:00 minute to the steep time for the second infusion.

Poabs Organic FBOP Black Tea Infusion
Poabs Organic FBOP Black Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a beautifully bright orange-red color, perfectly clear and transparent. There was absolutely no photo editing aside from cropping performed on the photo above. The aroma has scents of toasted grains/seeds, wild flowers, pepper, cardamom, light caramel, and citrus (lemon). The body is full, with a lively, clean, mouth filling texture. The tea has a brisk character comparable to the mid to high altitude Ceylon (Sri Lanka) black teas. There is a fairly strong astringency. The taste has notes of malt/caramel, pepper, lemon, wood, toasted grains/seeds, and light wild flower. The aftertaste carries the malt, toasted grains, and lemon notes, and sweet essence can be felt on the breath.

Poabs Organic FBOP Black Tea Infused Leaves
Poabs Organic FBOP Black Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform copper brown color. The leaves are all small fragments which include bud fragments and a few small stems. The leaves have a soft, smooth texture. The smell has scents of cardamom, pepper, malt/caramel, wet toasted grains, and light wild flowers.

The Organic FBOP Black Tea from Poabs Organic Estate is a good example of the hygroscopic abilities of tea leaves. I was able to smell and taste pepper, cardamom, and citrus, all of which are grown on the estate. The color of the infusion was truly beautiful, bright, and lively. The tea gives a spark of energy from the moment it hits the tongue, mostly due to the respectable astringency and briskness. This black tea is certainly more comparable to Ceylon black teas than Assam teas. When cool, this tea does not have any cream down effect, remaining perfectly clean and clear in appearance. At home, I use the lower grades of this tea to make iced tea, and it is perfect! This is a versatile tea, as it is not too rich in any one taste, and would also make for a good tea to add flavoring to. And, it is organic, and who does not love that?! Many positives for this FBOP black tea from Poabs Organic Estate.

Thanks to the management of Poabs Organic Estate for providing this sample. Cheers!

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Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush from Doke Tea Estate

Thanks to the generosity of the Lochan family and Lochan Tea Limited, I have before me numerous 2014 first flush teas from various tea estates in the Darjeeling district of India. I have said this on several occasions, but I am truly grateful for the Lochans and their passion for sharing Darjeeling teas with the world.

The focus of today’s review is the Doke Black Fusion First Flush 2014 Tea from the Doke Tea Estate. The Doke Tea Estate is owned and operated by the Lochan family, and is located in Bihar, India. For more information on the Doke Tea Estate, visit their website here. The Lochan family also operates Lochan Tea Limited, which you may learn more about here.

The sample packet has been opened. Let the journey begin…

Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush Dry Leaves
Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush Dry Leaves

The dry leaves are mostly black in color, with some reddish brown, and a few silver tips in the mix. The leaves appear to be medium sized fragments, with some large fragments, and perhaps a few whole leaves. The leaves are moderately rolled. There are a few bare stems in the mix. The aroma is sweet, with scents of malt, molasses, light wood, and a very light grape.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for three minutes.

Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush 1st Infusion
Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a deep golden-orange color with red tint, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of roses, light grapes, light malt, and light wood. The body is medium-full, with a lively, mouth-filling texture. The taste has a somewhat brisk character, with notes of wood, roses, malt, light hyacinth, and very light grape. The aftertaste is sweet and floral, and a flowery essence is left on the breath.

Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush 2nd Infusion
Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a lighter shade of golden-orange color, and the reddish tint remains. The aroma has lightened some, and retains the scents of roses, wood, malt, and grape. The body has lightened to medium. The taste has lightened some, and retains the notes of wood, roses, hyacinth, and light malt. The grape notes have dissipated almost entirely. The aftertaste is lighter and mostly floral in the second infusion.

Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush 3rd Infusion
Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush 3rd Infusion

The third infusion produced a liquor with again lighter shade of golden-orange color with reddish tint. The aroma has lighted again, and the floral smells are most prominent. The body and taste have also lightened. The flavor notes are mostly floral. The aftertaste has lightened, but remained floral.

Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush Infused Leaves
Doke Black Fusion Tea 2014 First Flush Infused Leaves

The infused leaves vary in color from pale greenish-brown to dark green and copper-brown. The leaves are mostly medium to large fragments, with one of two whole leaves in the mix. There are also a few tips measuring about 0.75 inches (20mm). There are a few bare stems in the mix. The leaves have a soft and smooth texture, but are not as delicate as expected. The aroma has scents of wet wood, light grape, and light spice.

The Doke Black Fusion Tea was an interesting break from the first flush teas that I am familiar with from the Darjeeling district. The sweet smell of the dry leaves and the beautiful color of the liquor were the most attractive characteristics of this tea. The brisk character of the first infusion was also very enjoyable, if you like a brisk tea. The taste did have the fresh floral character that many Darjeeling tea fans love about first flush teas, but the prominent woody notes of the first infusion separate this tea from most Darjeeling first flush teas. This tea did have a nice assortment of taste notes in the first infusion. I would recommend this tea to someone who is looking for a tea that is more robust than Darjeeling first flush teas, but retains some of the floral qualities of Darjeeling teas.

Thanks again to the Lochan family for providing this sample fresh from their own farm. Cheers!