Review: Golden Tips Tea GTT Special Early Spring Pick 2012

Black Tea, Golden Tips Tea, Single Estate Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A tasty, solid first flush, with a well integrated, generous profile. The balance between smooth sweet notes and more herbaceous tones is especially successful. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.6/10
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This FTGFOP1 black tea was the first harvested at Darjeeling's Highlands Estate for the season. Because this garden is a little lower in altitude, the weather conditions allowed the bushes to come into flush earlier than others. Sometimes an early flush is also the product of selective irrigation, trying to give the plants a head start. Either way, my sample displays a mixture of various hues, shapes and sizes. On average however, most leaves are short and olive green. Their smell is vaguely dusty and grassy.

Following GTT's recommendations I brewed a heaping teaspoonful of leaves in 8 ounces of freshly boiled water for 4 minutes. The cup has a sweet aroma that seesaws between berries and toasted bread. It's relatively pale in colour for a black tea, bearing a coppery tangerine hue. The tea is mostly herbaceous in taste, with a touch of astringency to the finish. There are also some toasted bread, malt and berry notes that emerge now and then. Overall the feel of the cup is generously sweet, crisp and brisk – pretty much everything I look for in a first flush.

I brewed the leaves two more times using a 4 and a half minute and a 5 and a half minute-long infusion. My second cup is bright, crisp and almost as good as the first. The only noticeable difference is the slight increase in astringency that lingers in the finish. My third is not nearly as successful. The results are rather flat and bland. Granted I could have let the leaves steep a bit longer, but they clearly seem past their prime.

I found this offering to be a tasty, solid first flush, with a well integrated, generous profile. The balance between smooth sweet notes and more herbaceous tones is especially successful. This is definitely worth a try for fans of first flushes. Well done!

— To purchase Golden Tips Tea GTT Special Early Spring Pick 2012, 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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