Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Kally Tea
Sungma – This is one of the most respected tea estates in Darjeeling. This black Darjeeling tea offering produces a wonderfully balanced liquor. This is what you come to expect from top tea estates in taste and aroma.
This grade of tea “FTGFOP-1” stands for “Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe #1”. This tea is hand processed, with one quarter of it consisting of tips.
A joke among tea aficionados is that “FTGFOP” stands for “Far Too Good For Ordinary People” so try this tea and welcome to the ranks of the privileged.
Learn more about this tea here.
Of the information that is provided for this tea, the one thing that is missing is which flush Organic Sungma FTGFOP-1 Black Tea from Kally Tea was harvested. But the flavor suggests to me that this is most likely a first flush. In my experience, the second flush Darjeeling teas tend to possess more of that “muscatel” taste while the first flush tends to be a little more woodsy.
And this tea does have more of that woodsy kind of flavor to it. In the dry leaf aroma, that’s the first thing I picked up on was a woodsy kind of fragrance, reminding me of the scent one might experience while walking through a heavily wooded forest just after it rained, when the scent of the trees is really prolific. The brewed tea has some of this fragrance as well, but it isn’t as pronounced as it is in the dry leaf.
The flavor – as I’ve already mentioned – is also woodsy. It also does have some delightful floral notes in the distance, and some sweet fruity notes that seem to emerge as the tea cools slightly. The first couple of sips that I tasted, I didn’t really notice a lot of fruit or flower to this cup, but now that it’s had a few minutes to cool to a drinkable temperature, I notice more of the fruity tones and floral notes.
But mostly what I notice here is an earthy, woodsy tone. It is crisp and focused. The mouthfeel is pleasant, and the flavor is uplifting. The fruit notes provide more of a sweetness than a real distinct, identifiable fruit flavor, and it isn’t exactly a muscatel-ish note. This has some astringency toward the finish, but it isn’t as dry as some Darjeeling teas that I’ve tasted. It’s really quite enjoyable – a very good afternoon tea.
I don’t know that I’d say it’s Far Too Good For Ordinary People – mostly because I’m not in to arrogance like that – but it is certainly good, and I do appreciate that it’s part of Kally Tea’s organic line of teas, and it’s a good one to try if you’re looking for a good quality Darjeeling.
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!