Dooteriah SFTGFOP 1 First Flush Darjeeling Tea from Lochan Tea Limited

DooteriahTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Lochan Tea Limited

About Lochan Tea Limited:

Your taste, your enjoyment is what this tea site is all about. Our job is to share the best products we can provide for you — and also to expand your experience with our enthusiasm for the history, the culture and the never-ending discoveries about tea and the human experience. 

We bring you more than a commodity but rather the experience of the leaf, which is magical, and at the same time transcending and yet very grounded in the earth. The beautiful Darjeeling region has given rise to a unique and beautiful product that you can appreciate on all these levels. The stories of nearly two centuries in India, all are captured in a cup of tea, for those eager to see it. Let’s take this journey together.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m usually in the mood for a good Darjeeling, and this Dooteriah SFTGFOP 1 First Flush Darjeeling Tea from Lochan Tea Limited certainly qualifies as a good Darjeeling!

Generally speaking, when it comes to Darjeeling teas, I prefer a second flush to a first flush, because I love that muscatel note that the second flush is known for.  However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate a good first flush when I find one.  And I’m enjoying this one.

The flavor is very crisp and clean.  I notice background notes of flower and some woodsy notes, with foreground notes of fruit.  I’d consider this a medium bodied tea.  It’s got an enjoyable lightness to it, my palate feels refreshed as I sip it.

This is one of the more astringent Darjeeling teas that I’ve tasted in some time, and there is some bitterness, so I recommend watching the brew time (I recommend 2 minutes) and a lower temperature when brewing (I recommend 190°F).  This will help keep the bitterness to a minimum.

Overall, a fine Darjeeling, but if you’re one who tends to shy away from astringent teas, this one might not be for you.  However, if you’re a fan of Darjeeling teas like I am, you should try this one.

Tea Book Volume 1 with Black Tea from Basilur Tea

BasilurVolume1Tea Description:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Basilur Tea

Product Description:

Basilur is an expression of the art of drinking tea. Each range of Basilur depicts its own story related to the rich Sri Lankan heritage. Each product is a unique tea drinking experience which transports its discerning tea drinkers to another time and place. Basilur tea takes you through this long journey of tea, with innovative blends and packaging yet, keeping the 5000 year old traditions intact. This Tea Book is a gift from Basilur tea family to the connoisseurs of tea.

Ingredients: 100% Pure Ceylon black tea, cornflower, jasmine buds, blue malva and flavour roasted almond.

Learn more about this product here.

Taster’s Review:

From a tea enthusiast’s and consumer’s prospective, this Tea Book Volume 1 with Black Tea from Basilur Tea has got to be one of the coolest products I’ve come across in a long time!  It’s a book shaped tin (LOVE it!) and tucked inside the tin is a 3.5 ounce resealable pouch of almond flavored black tea!

I love the tin.  It’s one of the neatest tins I’ve ever seen!  It’s visually stunning, and it’s just a really unique way to package tea!  It would make a great gift for your favorite tea drinker (even if that tea drinker is you!)

And the tea inside is really good too. The blend is visually stunning with its beautiful blossoms of blue cornflower and white jasmine along with pieces of roasted almond tossed with the black tea leaves.  It smells of sweet almond and flower.  The brewed tea is especially delightful to the nose.  The warm almond notes evoke thoughts of something freshly baked.

The flavor is quite nice too.  The black tea base is a Ceylon, and it is a mild, even tempered sort of taste.  Nothing too bold or harsh, instead, it’s smooth and brisk and mellow.  It isn’t an aggressive or overstimulating type of tea, making this a nice choice for afternoon sipping.  (And I can’t help but think that this would be excellent with a piece of almond biscotti!)

While the tea is piping hot, the almond flavor is a little difficult to discern.  I recommend allowing the tea to cool to a drinkable temperature (give it about four minutes after you’ve poured the tea), and this time allows the flavors to develop properly.  I can taste the almond now!  It’s a pleasing flavor, not so strong that it overpowers the flavor of the tea.  This is definitely a tea that I’m drinking here, and the flavoring lets you know that the tea plays the starring role in this cup.

It’s sweet and nutty, and I can taste hints of flower in the distance.  This isn’t a jasmine tea.  While the jasmine blossoms do add a touch of jasmine essence to the cup, it is not a significant enough flavor – in my opinion – to deem this a “jasmine” tea.  I think that the jasmine elevates the almond a little bit.  Interesting … that was kind of unexpected how the light, exotic sweetness of the jasmine helps to accentuate the sweet, nutty flavors of the almond.  I like that.

I found this to be a really delightful and tasty cup of tea.  It definitely has a winter-y sort of flavor to it (this “book” is Volume 1 of the winter series), so I can see why they’d include it in the winter series.  It tastes best served hot, but it also makes a nice iced tea.

Organic Sungma FTGFOP-1 Black Tea from Kally Tea

SungmaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Kally Tea

Tea Description:

Sungma – This is one of the most respected tea estates in Darjeeling. This black Darjeeling tea offering produces a wonderfully balanced liquor. This is what you come to expect from top tea estates in taste and aroma. 

This grade of tea “FTGFOP-1” stands for “Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe #1”.  This tea is hand processed, with one quarter of it consisting of tips.

A joke among tea aficionados is that “FTGFOP” stands for “Far Too Good For Ordinary People” so try this tea and welcome to the ranks of the privileged. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Of the information that is provided for this tea, the one thing that is missing is which flush Organic Sungma FTGFOP-1 Black Tea from Kally Tea was harvested.  But the flavor suggests to me that this is most likely a first flush.  In my experience, the second flush Darjeeling teas tend to possess more of that “muscatel” taste while the first flush tends to be a little more woodsy.

And this tea does have more of that woodsy kind of flavor to it.  In the dry leaf aroma, that’s the first thing I picked up on was a woodsy kind of fragrance, reminding me of the scent one might experience while walking through a heavily wooded forest just after it rained, when the scent of the trees is really prolific.  The brewed tea has some of this fragrance as well, but it isn’t as pronounced as it is in the dry leaf.

The flavor – as I’ve already mentioned – is also woodsy.  It also does have some delightful floral notes in the distance, and some sweet fruity notes that seem to emerge as the tea cools slightly.  The first couple of sips that I tasted, I didn’t really notice a lot of fruit or flower to this cup, but now that it’s had a few minutes to cool to a drinkable temperature, I notice more of the fruity tones and floral notes.

But mostly what I notice here is an earthy, woodsy tone.  It is crisp and focused.  The mouthfeel is pleasant, and the flavor is uplifting.  The fruit notes provide more of a sweetness than a real distinct, identifiable fruit flavor, and it isn’t exactly a muscatel-ish note.  This has some astringency toward the finish, but it isn’t as dry as some Darjeeling teas that I’ve tasted.  It’s really quite enjoyable – a very good afternoon tea.

I don’t know that I’d say it’s Far Too Good For Ordinary People – mostly because I’m not in to arrogance like that – but it is certainly good, and I do appreciate that it’s part of Kally Tea’s organic line of teas, and it’s a good one to try if you’re looking for a good quality Darjeeling.

Earl Grey #1 from Kally Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Kally Tea

Tea Description:

This is a traditional favorite in most western cultures. Our #1 blend is created with high grown Sri Lanka Ceylon tea, along with citrus bergamot fruit flavoring oils, not artificial flavorings. These flavorings do not mask the taste and characteristics of the tea itself. We here at Kally Tea felt this blend deserves a #1 behind it as the taste is traditional Earl Grey, but yet has a very distinct characteristic that other Earl Greys do not match. As our product line expands, we will present to you other blends that are of equal quality, but will have different traits. So please enjoy this first offering; Earl Grey #1!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve said it on numerous occasions, and I’ll say it again:  I love Earl Grey!

There have been many stories told about how Earl Grey tea came to be, I really don’t care about the legends and tall tales behind it, I’m just glad that it did happen, that somehow someone out there decided to combine the essence of bergamot and black tea together to create this marvelous drink.  There are few teas out there that make me happier than a good cup of Earl Grey!

What does surprise me is how different they can all be.  It seems like every tea company out there has an Earl Grey … but they aren’t all the same.  So, it amazes me (and kind of irritates me, if I’m being honest) when I hear of someone claiming they don’t like Earl Grey.  I want to ask them “How many Earl Grey teas have you tried?”  “Which Earl Greys have you tried?”  Because it’s such a generalized statement to proclaim that someone dislikes Earl Grey.

I mean, yes, there are some pretty grody Earl Grey teas out there (Yes, I was a valley girl), but for every bad Earl Grey tea that there is, there are at least two or three good ones, and at least one or two AMAZING ones.  This Earl Grey #1 from Kally Teas falls somewhere in between the good and amazing.  It isn’t the best Earl Grey that I’ve had, but it is definitely a good one, and perhaps even a bit better than just good!

This is really CLASSIC Earl Grey.  It is bergamot and black tea.  The bergamot is good and strong and has a vibrant flavor and aroma.  It is distinctly bergamot.  It doesn’t have a fake, perfume-y kind of taste to it.  It tastes like tangy citrus fruit with notes of flower.

The black tea is a strong tea – a Ceylon, which I typically think of as mild, but here it plays a stronger role than I anticipated!  It has a fair amount of astringency that starts off soft and gradually builds, and then begins to taper off as the tea cools off.  I suspect if served iced, this would have only a mild amount of astringency.  Served hot, it has some, but, I don’t find it bothersome, in fact, I think it enhances the bergamot flavor.

Overall, a very good cup of Earl Grey – this is one I’d be happy to have on hand for that time when I just NEED some Earl Grey!  And I have those moments often!