Review: Rare Tea Republic Tumsong SFTGFOP1 Second Flush Organic

Darjeeling Tea, Organic Tea, Rare Tea Republic, Single Estate Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!" A lovely cup, with lots of character and complexity. Slightly drying, subtle notes of what I can only describe as “coniferous muscatel” give this brew a great thirst-quenching aspect."
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.9/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 8/10
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It's Friday, I have the day off, and sampling this tea is the first thing on my to do list... Life is good! This mountain-grown organic tea comes from the Tumsong estate. It's known locally as “the garden of happy hearts” due to the serene beauty of the landscape. Taking a look at the tea, I'm disappointed to see that the leaves are broken into rather small pieces. Still, they display an impressive range of colours from silver to espresso brown. The give off a fresh grass and muscatel scent.

Following the directions provided on the sample's package I infused a heaping teaspoonful of leaves in water heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 minutes. The dark amber liquor is scented with a malty yet fruity aroma. The cup seesaws between malt and stone fruit notes and more earthy, tannic qualities, especially in the finish. While very hot the flavour profile came across as more floral, shifting gradually towards a woodier, more astringent palette. Slightly drying, subtle notes of what I can only describe as “coniferous muscatel” give this brew a great thirst-quenching aspect. The mouth-feel is silky and slightly oily, leading to an interesting contrast with these rougher notes. There is also a fleeting toasted bread dimension present. The fact that I can't always pick it out makes the cup all the more enticing.

After a 4 and a half minute steep, the second infusion is bursting with plum notes over top of more tannic wood tones. A sour tinge has also appeared but it seems to emphasize the sweetness of this tea rather than detract from it. This cup has more bluster to it, compared to the more delicate initial steep. Both are equally good in their own way.

My third infusion is still palatable. After 5 minutes muted plum and cinnamon notes appear. There is a hint of muscatel to the cup as well. The pizzazz of the first two infusions is hard to follow but this sweet, mild-mannered cup is still worthwhile.

These leaves make for a lovely cup, with lots of character and complexity. Personally I felt that at 4 minutes the brew was a bit too dry for my palate, especially as it cooled. I was much happier with a 3 minute infusion time, which allowed the maltier side of this cup to shine. It is reasonably priced, especially considering it's an organic, single estate tea – happy hearts indeed!

— To purchase Rare Tea Republic Tumsong SFTGFOP1 Second Flush Organic, 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: Sophie Sophie
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