Deprecated: Hook custom_css_loaded is deprecated since version jetpack-13.5! Use WordPress Custom CSS instead. Jetpack no longer supports Custom CSS. Read the WordPress.org documentation to learn how to apply custom styles to your site: https://wordpress.org/documentation/article/styles-overview/#applying-custom-css in /home/cuppag5/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 6078
FTGFOP

Assam FTGFOP Black Tea from Simple Loose Leaf

AssamFTGFOPTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf here.

Tea Description:

A rich, whole leaf Assam with dark leaves and golden tips produces a bright copper, full-bodied tea. Floral and citrus hints are followed by a malty aftertaste. Lovely with milk and sugar, and a wonderful stand-alone tea.

Ingredients:  Assam Fine Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe Black Tea

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Selection Club subscription program here.

Receive 25% savings on the Selection Club from Simple Loose Leaf.  Just type in SISTERSELECTION25 in the coupon field and save 25%!  This discount is applicable only to the monthly Selection Club subscription and not the retail selection of teas.

Taster’s Review:

Mmm!  That’s the first sound that came out of me as I took a sip of this tea.  There is something that is just so … delectable when it comes to a high quality Assam tea like this one from Simple Loose Leaf.  Is it the sweet caramel undertones?  The malty notes?  The hints of cacao that intermingle with the notes of fruit and flower and earth?  Or is it a combination of all these?

For me, it’s how the cup comes together.  It’s the sum of the parts.  The tea is rich and full-bodied.  It has a certain gusto to it that invigorates me, which is why I tend to reach for teas like this as my first cup of the day.

I also love the sweetness of the tea.  The creamy caramel low notes meld with the malty notes of the tea to create this decadent sweetness that compliments the cacao notes.  Then I taste the notes of flower and fruit in the distance.  It’s earthy and warm.  And as you’re starting to feel just a little cozy with the sip, those fruit notes come through to add a touch of brightness to the cup.

But how to brew it?  I have found that Assam teas tend to be rather finicky.  They don’t like to be kept in hot water too long or they’ll become quite bitter on you.  Sure, this is true of many teas, but I find it to be particularly true of Assam, and even a matter of 15 – 30 seconds too long can mean a cup that’s more bitter than you want it to be.

For Assam, I go with 205°F rather than the full-on boil, and then I steep the tea for no more than 2 1/2 minutes.  If I steep the tea in my Breville One-Touch tea maker (which is what I did today), I steep the tea for only 2 minutes.  500ml of freshly filtered water with 2 bamboo scoops of tea in the basket and I pushed the button to make my magical machine go.  Two minutes later, I was treated to a fragrant, delicious cuppa!

This is a really good Assam.  I like this tea best served hot, and it takes the additions of milk and honey well if that’s what you like in your tea.  I personally like this straight up, it’s edgy and it gives me a good shake awake.  When I want an indulgent treat, I sometimes drizzle some pure maple syrup in my cup and yum!

Another awesome tea from Simple Loose Leaf!  Have you joined the Selection Club yet?

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.

Wah FTGFOP First Flush Black Tea from Rare Tea Republic

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Republic

Tea Description:

At Wah Estate, some of India’s oldest China variety tea plants are tended by one of India’s oldest tea producing families. The result is the classic China character expressed in this first flush selection. Complex sweet notes and dried herb undertones.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is definitely one of the most unique and curious teas I’ve ever come across.  The package did not indicate to me whether this might be a black or green or other type of tea, so I checked out the website before opening the package.  It was on the black tea so I decided to enjoy it as an early afternoon tea (I like to refrain from drinking black teas as it gets later in the evening because I don’t want to be bouncing off the walls at bedtime!)

But then when I opened the package and looked inside, the leaves looked like green tea leaves.  They looked green to me!  I double checked the website and saw that it was, indeed, a black tea, and since this tea had already thrown me for a loop I decided to follow the steeping parameters:  1.5 teaspoons of tea per cup, water just below boiling at 190°F, and steeping for 4 minutes.

The flavor is amazing.  It does not taste like a green tea, but it does have a mild freshness to it that is vaguely reminiscent of a green tea.  Very lush, herbaceous and flavorful.  But that is where the similarities to green tea ends, because the primary profile of this tea is very Dian Hong-esque.  It is rich and full-flavored, but I wouldn’t really call it bold.  Instead, it is very well-rounded, and has a lightness to it that is extraordinarily delightful.  And as the tea cools, I find the Yunnan-like notes continuing to emerge – offering a very velvety smooth texture and taste.  Sweet with chocolate-y notes and hints of caramel.

Rare Tea Republic is always surprising me with what they come up with next … every tea has been of exceptional taste and quality, and every tea has really thrown me for a loop – I’ve come to expect the unexpected with Rare Tea Republic!

 

Margaret’s Hope 2nd Flush FTGFOP Darjeeling from Culinary Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Culinary Teas

Tea Description:

A Darjeeling from the Margaret’s Hope Estate that has a delicate tending astringent cup with the distinctive ‘Muscatel’ character. Hints of currant create an almost wine-like taste. A bright tending light cup of tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I do love Darjeeling from the Margaret’s Hope Estate.  To me, it’s one of those Darjeeling teas that are a perfect example of what Darjeeling should be.  The cup is light and crisp, the muscatel so well-pronounced, and a sweet, wine-like finish.  Delightful!

This Margaret’s Hope 2nd Flush from Culinary Teas tastes remarkably fresh.  The flavor is indeed wine-like, and since I’m not much of a drinker of alcohol – wine or otherwise – I have to say that I’d prefer a cup of this Darjeeling tea over a glass of wine any day.

The sip starts with a sweet, fruit-like taste that develops on the palate from a sort of generic “fruity” taste into a more well-defined muscat grape flavor, and by the end of the sip, has become more like a black currant.  Throughout the sip, I notice other flavors too including  some wood notes and hints of spice.  The finish brings astringency that gives it a dry sort of sensation much like what you’d experience from a dry wine.  The aftertaste is reminiscent of a sweet grape taste.

An excellent Darjeeling!