Flowery Orange Pekoe (FOP) Black Tea from Kangaita Tea Factory

This morning I needed a strong, full bodied tea to give me a boost after a night of minimal sleep. Looking through my current selection of samples, the Kangaita FOP Black Tea from the southern slopes of Mount Kenya certainly has the reputation of providing a rich, powerful taste.

Let the journey begin…

Kangaita FOP Black Tea Dry Leaves

Kangaita FOP Black Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a uniform dark brown to black color, with some copper color in the stems and veins. The leaves are rolled, and are all small to medium sized fragments. There are few bare stems, and no twigs in the mix. The aroma is sweet (cocoa), and very lightly floral.

Five grams of dry leaves were placed in a 9.4 ounce (280 ml) Tokoname teapot. Purified spring water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for three minutes.

Kangaita FOP Black Tea 1st Infusion

Kangaita FOP Black Tea 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a deep orange-red color, clear and transparent. The aroma is sweet (malty), lightly floral, with light citrus scents. The body is full, with a rich and mouth-filling texture. The taste is lively, with notes of malt, citrus (lemon), and a very light floral note. The aftertaste is sweet (malty), with a respectable persistence.

Kangaita FOP Black Tea 2nd Infusion

Kangaita FOP Black Tea 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a significantly lighter orange color. The aroma, body, and taste lightened significantly, but maintained the same general scent and flavor descriptions. I decided to pass on trying the third infusion. This second infusion was easy to drink, but lost much of it’s character.

Kangaita FOP Black Tea Infused Leaves

Kangaita FOP Black Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform copper-brown color. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments. The aroma is sweet (malt), floral (wet flowers), and had a light fruity or jammy scent.

The first infusion of the FOP black tea from Kangaita Factory definitely accomplished what it was intended to do, provide a strong tasting tea to perk me up on a slow morning. I really enjoyed the first infusion. The second infusion was not bad in any way, just a steep drop-off in character from the first infusion. This is certainly a perfect black tea to use in a higher quality Breakfast blend tea. I look forward to blending this with some of the Keemun Hao Ya and lower elevation Sri Lanka teas on the morning after my next sleepless night. This black tea tastes perfectly fine without additives, but I assume that throwing a splash of milk in with it can make a very smooth and energizing beverage.

Thank you to Dafina Tea Traders for providing this sample of FOP Black Tea from Kangaita Factory in Mount Kenya. Cheers!

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