The letters ‘FTGFOP1 SF’ stands for ‘Fancy Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe No. 1 second flush. This is way too complex, what is important here to pay attention to ‘flowery’ and ‘second flush’. Flowery means that there are buds in the leaves, which is always great news. Tippy Golden is possibly the same thing, but I cannot say I saw a lot of golden tips among the dry leaves. Especially compared to Yunnan blacks like this one, I would not call this one ‘golden’.
However, this does not change the fact that this is an excellent tea. I read in ‘The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea’ with great interest that Darjeeling tea makers apply a different method to accommodate the larger and older leaves of the second flush. They harness the plants’ self-defences against leaf mites by allowing them to feast on the leaves. The leaves then produce aromatic compounds as part of their self-defence mechanism, and the harvesting takes place just after this. As a result, exotic fruity and in my mind also floral flavours emerge. This is similar to the production of Oriental Beauty Oolong.
Coming from the hills of Himalayans, this tea offers a unique malty taste and caramel sweetness which entails complex fruity and floral undernotes. I drank Darjeeling in the past, but none of them made such a good impression. I would definitely place this tea amongst my top black teas.
Origin: Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India
Harvest time: 2018
Leave colour: Shades of dark brown with reddish edges
Liquor colour: Amber
Tea aroma: Malt and fruity
Tea taste: Medium bodied with caramel sweetness and fruity, and floral undernotes
Steeping/brewing: Steep around 5 gr of the leaves in 90-100°C water and for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 36 months