Review: Thunderbolt Tea Arya FTGFOP1 ’08 First Flush

Darjeeling Tea, Orange Pekoe Tea, Thunderbolt Tea Add comments
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea offers a really complex tea-drinking experience, with quite a few flavors popping up and surprising the palette."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Kari gave it 6/10
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thunder.jpgThunderbolt Arya FTGFOP1 '08 First Flush is a real mouthful, both tastewise and namewise. It seems that interpreting the product name is the big (and only) challenge in enjoying this tea. The elaborate tea-grading system used by many tea growers and vendors is responsible for the awkward FTGFOP in this tea's name. The FTGFOP stands for "fine tippy golden flowery orange pekoe." The "OP" indicates that tea is a full leaf tea, as opposed to a broken leaf tea that would be found in a tea named "BOP". The F in front of the OP indicates that the type of leaves used in the tea are the not yet fully opened leaf bud (called Flowery Orange Pekoe); smaller and younger leaves are associated with a more delicate and aromatic brew. The FTGF (fine tippy golden flowery) ranking describes the amount of finest leaves (young tips and buds) contained in the tea. FTGF is among the highest rankings in this aspect, only to be outdone by SFTGF (super fine tippy golden flowery) in terms of homw many tips contained in the blend. The 1 at the end of this tea's name is supposed to indicate that this tea is top grade. Lastly, the "first flush" part of the tea's name indicates that this tea was the first harvest, in spring, when new tender shoots appear on tea plants. First flush deas are generally lighter in color than later harvests, and is generally more flowery as well. Okay, now that "Introduction to Tea Nomenclature101" is complete, on to the tea itself. This tea is made of whole leaves, which are for the most part a variety of jade and spring green colors. If looked at very quickly, these leaves could reasonably be confused for oolong. The leaves have a super-fresh floral aroma which carries through to the brewed liquid. This tea smells just a little crisper than one might expect from a Darjeeling. As far as taste goes, this tea offers a really complex tea-drinking experience, with quite a few flavors popping up and surprising the palette. There is an overall floweriness to this tea, but the floral notes are, thankfully, complemented by maltiness, buttery tones, and an oh-so-subtle smokiness. Each sip ends with just a little biting tartness. Thunderbolt describes this tea as having flavors of roses, almonds, and butter. Those precisely pinpointed flavors (except for the butteriness) eluded my taste buds, but regardless I still really liked this tea. I double-dipped the leaves, and the second cup was as flavorful as the first. This is a really, really good example of a first flush darjeeling, and one that I highly recommend.

— To purchase Thunderbolt Tea Arya FTGFOP1 ’08 First Flush, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Vanessa Vanessa
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