Tea is grown on Pesticide-Free Tea Estate
(Estate Black Tea)
Country of Origin: Kenya
Shipping Port: Mombassa
Grade: TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
Attitude: up to 2500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: Malty and smooth with toffee-like hints of toast with butter. Classic high altitude Kenya tea.
Infusion: Very bright and golden coppery
Ingredients: Luxury Kenya black tea.
Interestingly, the story of Kosabei estate TGFOP, perhaps one of the finest teas produced in Kenya, actually begins in Assam, far up in the Himalayan foothills in North Eastern India. During the 19th century, long before tea was ever planted in Kenya, (rumored to have been in 1903), British planters had been clearing jungle and producing teas for the London auction up in Assam. The early planters lived in extreme isolation, often weeks upriver from the nearest town. Subsequently, they had a lot of time on their hands. What time they did not devote to hanging about the local ?club? playing backgammon was spent experimenting with new ways to manufacture finished tea. At the time, most of the world?s teas were produced in China, a country known for keeping a tight lid on production secrets. Initially, the early Assam planters attempted to mimic the better-known Chinese tea grades ? i.e. Assam Hyson, Assam Congou, etc. Over the years, as the result of all their experimentation, the Assam planters developed many new grades and styles of finished leaf leading to the classification system we know today - OP, FBOP, GBOP, TGFOP, etc.
Now, where does the Kenyan connection come into play? One of Assam?s early planters was a man by the name of George Williamson. Williamson?s excellent business acumen and knack for growing and manufacturing exceptional teas soon caught the attention of the London auction houses and his company grew into one of the largest and best-run private tea companies in the world. During their many years growing tea in Assam, George Williamson?s perfected the art of the tea world?s finer grades, among them, TGFOP ? Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. During the early part of the new millennium, George Williamson?s moved their business from Assam to Kenya, bringing their tea expertise with them and ushering in a new era of Kenyan production.
Until the arrival of Williamson?s in Kenya, most Kenyan teas produced for the export market were CTC production, the result of the fact that Kenya?s industry came of age during the 20th century, a decidedly more mechanized age than the 19th. Recognizing the exceptional quality of seasonal Kenyan leaf, Williamson?s decided to experiment with some of the more traditional Orthodox leaf styles they had manufactured back in Assam. The result is some of the finest, most flavory teas to be found anywhere on Earth. One of these, Kosabei TGFOP is quite simply an outstanding tea , at once light and profound, gentle and astringent with notes of malt, currant and moist earth. Like all good Kenyan?s this tea makes an excellent self-drinker but also takes milk extremely well.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help enhance the character o this tea, it is perfectly acceptable consume d ?straight-up?
Iced tea-brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or ?milky? when poured over ice - a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!