I am finally giving this blog a little bit of love, I know I know… I didn’t update in like… a whiiiiiiile.
Actually, they are a couple things I wanted to talk about and it’s still in my to-do list. I noticed that my container review is attracting a lot of visitors on this blog, and it’s true, finding the right tea container has been something I have been interested in, and I am glad that you guys found my post about the tea tumbler, somewhat useful.
Today, I’ll share some of my thoughts and research on one of the teas I received from Golden Tips. I did a little bit of research and found this tea company quite interesting, they have been doing business since 1933, and they specialize in Indian teas, mostly Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri and other teas from India.
Even though, the last couple years, I almost exclusively had Chinese or Taiwanese teas; I grew up drinking Indian teas as a child. So, it was exciting to try something “new”, yet having a “back to the roots” kind of experience. In Russia, where I grew up, we mostly drink Indian tea, you know with the samovar and all.
Anyway, the first sample I tried is:
Jungpana Premium Darjeeling.
I really like how they indicate the Origin, the Estate even, the date of picking, the Flush/Season, the Grade, as well as the quantity needed for the brewing, the temperature and the timing. It’s really awesome, you can tell the company is serious about tea and how to prepare it well. Actually, every tea company should label this kind of information on their tea. This is obviously going to be good stuff.
Regarding the “Estate“, it actually refers to the “tea gardens”.
Darjeeling is the name of the region, if I can compare it to something more familiar to me, having grown up in France, it is how Champagne is a region; the same region that produces Champagne, the drink. The same is true for the Darjeeling tea, each estate produces teas with different characteristics in taste and aroma. I didn’t know much about the Jungpana estate, but doing a little bit of research I found that Jungpana is known for producing the highest rated Darjeeling tea in the world. And they seem to export this tea outside of India, I would assume because of the price. Anyone who knows more about it, please comment below.
The garden — located in the slopes of south Kurseong with plantation area over 77 acres was started by British planter Henry Montgomery Lennox in 1899. I read somewhere that Lennox secretly took (or stole) tea seeds and bushes from China and started the plantation in the 1800s. The Jungpana estate was then acquired by the Kejriwals in 1956 from the Ranas of Nepal, who had acquired the garden following the departure of the British. This tiny estate nestled in the hills of the Darjeeling region, enjoys the most unique micro climatic and soil conditions which in return produces the highest quality Darjeeling famous for the muscatel flavor. (Aroma that refers to a floral, musky, raisiny flavor)
Now about the grade:
FTGFOP1 means that the tea consist of fine uncrushed leaves, basically the highest quality. When you buy tea bags, you buy the opposite, you buy crushed tea dust, and it can never be good stuff, if you still drink tea bags, do yourself a favor and buy whole leaves, it’s just a completely different experience.
As you can see on the picture above, the leaves are used as a whole. This kind of tea has a delicate taste. In short, the grade of this tea is synonym for high quality.
If you’re curious watch the following video, introducing the tea garden and the different flushes. The one I tried is the Autumn Flush (third). (Sorry video was deleted from Youtube.)
Also traditionally, the Autumnal flush (harvested after the rainy season), has somewhat less delicate flavor and less spicy tones, but fuller body and darker color.
To conclude this post, I tried some very fine tea here. I am curious about the spring flush now. The aroma is very delicate and it has accents of fruit. My second steeping was floral as well, as colorful as India (Yeah I know… , I know…but I honestly enjoyed it) We’ll see what the other samples are like. I am sipping some Golden Tips Green tea as I write this. I am not getting any commission or anything on this, I just received a couple samples in the mail, but you can nevertheless purchase this lovely tea here.