Thursday, November 3, 2011

Black tea: Java Malabar Estate OPS (caffeinated)

Tea Plantation in West Java
Today's breakfast tea. An Orange Pekoe; the folks at Upton say that "'S' stands for 'Souchong,' a larger leaf on the tea plant. I haven't tried tea from Indonesia before, but liked Upton's description of this tea as "refined, with a sweetness and delicate caramel flavor note." They also mentioned it was grown in West Java at an elevation over 1500 meters (nearly 5,000 feet), and I do like a trip to the mountains. I brewed one cupweight (thanks to my new digital tea scale from Upton) in 6 oz water just off the boil for 3'30". I tasted it without milk, and it seemed interesting, but a bit raw-edged from the tannin. A little bit of milk really helped and made this into a very satisfying cup of tea: it was flavorful but not heavy at all, with an interesting note of something that reminded me of chocolate, and a very smooth finish. Really a nice way to start the day, as though someone you like has chucked you gently on the cheek with the nappy grain side of a tan leather glove.

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