Friday, February 27, 2015

Golden Tips, Halmari Gold

Golden Tips Description:
Assam is a celebrated tea growing region in the world and there is no doubt over the fact that Assam black teas are the most sought-after in the world. However, even in Assam, there are those rare and special days when ideal climatic conditions backed by intuitive manufacturing excellence garnered by years of experience prepares something as rare as this Halmari Gold Clonal Black Tea....
An absolute luxury, the finest of the finest and clearly one of the best Assam black teas.

Sample provided by Golden Tips Tea

My Review:
The label on today's tea says the leaf grade is GTGFOP1 CL. I believe all those letters stand in part for Golden Tips Flowery Orange Pekoe First Clonal. The one (1) denotes the highest quality. There appears to be an extra G that leaves me puzzled. Often an S is used in place of the first G stating it is the finest but since the 1 already covers it... Ah well, it makes sense to those who know.

This is a second flush Assam. Opening the resealable pouch has me lingering for one more sniff. Just wow. Malt and hay and fruit and wow. I remove a spoon of leaf for exam. If you had put this in front of me and not told me what it was, I would guess Golden Monkey. The leaf is a beautiful mix of nearly black leaf and golden buds. It s lightly twisted and curled.

The leaf was placed in my press with water heated to 200 F. I steeped for four minutes. This is mid range on both the time and temperature per the label directions.

The result is a ruby/orange brew. The wet leaf has turned cinnamon brown and the aroma from the press is malt, honey, and cocoa. Again, I linger to just enjoy the fragrance. I'm kind of giddy to start sipping but I resist and stay in the moment.

You can't help but inhale the malty bouquet as you raise the cup to your lips. The first sip has a lively briskness to it. Then I notice the thick full bodied feel of the tea. This not bitter. I didn't find it particularly drying for an Assam. The taste is similar to the leaf aroma though not as intense.

I am finally learning to appreciate Assam teas. This one seemed especially fragrant to me. I am very sensitive to the tannins in black tea. I can tell, this is not one I could tolerate on an empty stomach. I did not try it, but believe a spot of milk and sweetener would calm it down nicely. That sounds odd to me as this is a very smooth and full tea after the initial hit of briskness.

The malt lingers in the aftertaste.

You can find Golden Tips, Halmari Gold here.

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