My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan and all those affected by the earthquake and tsunamis. May they find shelter and comfort during this tragic, frightening time.
A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed a Shawlands estate Ceylon OP1 here. One of my readers requested that I review another lot from that very same estate, this time the Shawlands BOP1, BOP meaning Broken Orange Pekoe, more simply a broken leaf tea.
The long threads of leaf really don’t look broken to me, their appearance being very similar to the OP1 leaf.
I steeped the leaves for 4 1/2 minutes in boiling point (212 F) water, the same as the OP1.
After steeping, the broken pieces are revealed along with pieces of stem, the long threads I saw in the dry leaf.
You might be thinking to yourself, now why aren’t these teas the same since they come from the same tea estate? The subject of single estate tea lots is an interesting one, a subject I usually address at least several times a week at my job. Customers will wonder why we “discontinued” a tea. In other words, we sold a particular tea and now they want to purchase it again but we’re unfortunately sold out of it. Can’t we just get more? Well, we might be able to purchase another lot from that estate depending upon what is produced the following year but it won’t be the exact one that sold out because that lot was from a previous harvest.
Ah, what gorgeous color – a glowing copper that invites me to take my first sip.
Tea is plucked and then processed as individual lots. Each lot will be different from the others even though it might have come from the same tea estate, the same land, in the same country. This is because there are so many factors that contribute to the ultimate flavor of the tea, including the exact moment of the leaf’s plucking, or harvest, and its processing.
All that being said, the flavor of this tea IS very similar to the tea from 2 weeks ago, however, the mintiness is much less pronounced. The tea liquor itself also feels thicker in my mouth with a smoother character. I enjoyed its medium body very much without milk or sweetener.
A beautiful, deep blue sky, just on the cusp of spring, is reflected in my cup. Joy…
I encourage you to try cupping 2 teas from the same estate, side by side. Notice the difference in the dry and wet leaf, the color of the tea liquor, the aroma and the flavor notes. It’s fun to do and also helps to refine your tea drinking palate. Enjoy!
“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” ~Emily Dickinson