Thursday, March 02, 2006

Tea Review 53 - Singlijan Estate TGFOP1

Singlijan Estate TGFOP1 (Assam)
Upton Tea Imports

For yours truly, the measure of whether a tea is good - yes, I know that "good" is a subjective concept - is how long it lingers in my tea cabinet. I currently have a few items in the old cabinet that have been around for a while and probably aren't going anywhere soon. I can't bring myself to throw away tea, but there are some teas I can't bring myself to finish.

Then there are teas like Singlijan Estate, the first of many Assam varieties we'll be featuring this month. This one vanished from my tea cabinet in no time at all, though I only started with a fifteen gram sampler in the first place.

Here's Upton's description of Singlijan: "The leaves are wiry and well-twisted, with light-golden tips. The cup has an aroma reminiscent of chocolate, and a flavor note of ripe apples with a clean finish. This tea can be best enjoyed plain."

I'd agree with that, for the most part, though my untrained palate wasn't slick enough to pick out chocolate or apples. My verdict would be "a very pleasant aroma with faintly fruity overtones and a very full-bodied flavor, with the same subtle hints of fruit." Something else that I noted was that Singlijan had a very smooth flavor, with not even a hint of astringency or bitterness, not even when it's oversteeped by a minute or two.

I have yet to make it through all the Assam samples on hand, but of the ones I've tasted thus far Singlijan Estate is head and shoulders above the pack. What's interesting to note, if you're looking for a correlation between flavor and price, is that this one is ranked 17th cheapest of the 60 Assam teas Upton currently offers.

I tried to find out something about Singlijan Estate or Singlijan, but didn't have much luck. Here's all I was able to come up with on short notice.


Tea Fiend said...

Do you typically drink your Assam plain, or with milk and/or sugar?

William I. Lengeman III said...

Always straight up. I've never been an additives kind of guy regardless of the type of tea.