Organic FBOP Black Tea from Poabs Organic Estate in Kerala, India
Today’s review will focus on the Organic FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe) Black Tea from the Poabs Organic Estate, located in the Nelliyampathy Hills, near the eastern border of the Kerala state of southern India. Poabs Organic Estate produces more than just tea, including organic coffee, pepper, and cardamom, among several other spices, vegetables, and fruits. Vanilla plant cultivation is also under development. Banana trees and orange trees can also be found in the estate. The entire estate consists of 350 hectares (865 acres) of land, and has an average elevation of 3,500 feet (1,065 meters) above sea level. For more information on Poabs Organic Estate, please visit their website by clicking here.
In the past, I have reviewed some very enjoyable black teas from Poabs Organic Estate, and I look forward to refreshing those positive memories now. The sample packet has been opened, and a spicy, toasty scent is escaping the packet. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a uniform dark brown-black color, with golden tip fragments in the mix. The leaves are uniform small leaf fragments, consistent with the FBOP grade. The leaves are machine rolled. The leaves have a very dry, rigid texture. There are a few stems in the mix. The smell carries scents of toasted grains/seeds, cardamom, pepper, caramel, dry freshly cut wood chips, and light wild flowers. The smell is very welcoming and uplifting.
Three grams of leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.
My suggestions for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 205°F (96°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 to 4:00 minutes. Expect a single quality infusion out of the same serving of leaves. A second infusion is always possible, but will produce a significantly lighter tea liquor. Add 1:00 minute to the steep time for the second infusion.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a beautifully bright orange-red color, perfectly clear and transparent. There was absolutely no photo editing aside from cropping performed on the photo above. The aroma has scents of toasted grains/seeds, wild flowers, pepper, cardamom, light caramel, and citrus (lemon). The body is full, with a lively, clean, mouth filling texture. The tea has a brisk character comparable to the mid to high altitude Ceylon (Sri Lanka) black teas. There is a fairly strong astringency. The taste has notes of malt/caramel, pepper, lemon, wood, toasted grains/seeds, and light wild flower. The aftertaste carries the malt, toasted grains, and lemon notes, and sweet essence can be felt on the breath.
The infused leaves have a uniform copper brown color. The leaves are all small fragments which include bud fragments and a few small stems. The leaves have a soft, smooth texture. The smell has scents of cardamom, pepper, malt/caramel, wet toasted grains, and light wild flowers.
The Organic FBOP Black Tea from Poabs Organic Estate is a good example of the hygroscopic abilities of tea leaves. I was able to smell and taste pepper, cardamom, and citrus, all of which are grown on the estate. The color of the infusion was truly beautiful, bright, and lively. The tea gives a spark of energy from the moment it hits the tongue, mostly due to the respectable astringency and briskness. This black tea is certainly more comparable to Ceylon black teas than Assam teas. When cool, this tea does not have any cream down effect, remaining perfectly clean and clear in appearance. At home, I use the lower grades of this tea to make iced tea, and it is perfect! This is a versatile tea, as it is not too rich in any one taste, and would also make for a good tea to add flavoring to. And, it is organic, and who does not love that?! Many positives for this FBOP black tea from Poabs Organic Estate.
Thanks to the management of Poabs Organic Estate for providing this sample. Cheers!