|"Complicated name; less than complicated taste. Even and satisfying, but not exceptional. "|
Okay - I'm going to explain this in the clearest way I know how: out of order. The labels build on one another, so it makes sense to describe them sort of backward.
We'll start with "P - Pekoe". Pronounced "Peck-oh", this refers to a whole leaf tea of uniform size and rolled lengthwise. When sifted, these leaves are too large to pass through a tea sieve. (The smaller pieces that do fit are designated as "broken" orange pekoe, "fannings," or "dust," depending on their size.)
"O - Orange" has nothing to do with the tea's flavor. It comes from either the name of the Dutch royal family (Oranje) during the colonial, tea importing days; the color of the oxidized leaves before they dry; or both.
"F - Flowery" refers to the top two leaves and bud of the tea plant. The bud is actually an unopened, immature leaf tip.
"G - Golden" indicates the color of the tips when harvested.
"T - Tippy" means there a lot of golden tips in the tea.
"F - Fine" in front of the TGF says there are even MORE Golden tips, in this tea than just plain "TGF."
"S - Super" says, "There are REALLY, REALLY a lot of golden tips in here!"*
"Thurbo" is the name of the tea garden in Darjeeling where this tea is grown.
"Second Flush" means this is a summer tea, i.e. it was harvested during the months of May or June.
The number "1" designates that this tea is a best grade of SFTGOP. So, these Tea Emporium leaves are the goldest, tippiest, finest leaves in all of tea land. They ought to have tasted amazing! But they didn't.
"This excellent tea releases a bright golden color in the cup with an extra ordinary boost of fruity flavors like ripe mangoes and grapes which further ends on the tea lover's palate with a hint of roses and chocolates. The after taste of this tea is amazing as one can feel that the flavors tends to stay on the palate for a long time!" said Tea Emporium's website.
I tasted a slight, flowery note. I tasted maltiness and astringency. But, I detected nothing fruity. I certainly tasted no chocolate. Overall, I found the flavor underwhelming. It wasn't as complex as a tea with such a complex name ought to be.
Not that this tea is terrible. It's a Darjeeling, after all. It's delicate, needing to be steeped at just below boiling temperature for about four minutes. It was certainly drinkable, but not what I expected of a "super fine, grade 1" tea. I rate it a 7.
*I am not being flippant with this description. Tea leaf naming and grading is more of an art than a science. In addition to the Tea Emporium website, I used the following web sources in my research:
— To purchase Tea Emporium Thurbo 2nd Flush 2011 SFTGOP – 1, 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.
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