Tea: Duflating Estate FTGFOP1 Cl/Spl.

An Assam from Upton Tea Imports

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Duflating Estate FTGFOP1 Cl/Spl.
Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Region:Jorhat, Assam, India
# Ratings:2 View All

Review of Duflating Estate FTGFOP1 Cl/Spl.

7 of 104 of 54 of 573 of 100
Very GoodGoodGood Value

One of my friends had a rather old set of Assam samplers from Upton that she had received as a gift, and she recently passed them off to me as she's less a fan of Assam. As Assam tends to keep longer than a lot of teas, I gave it a try, and I was pleasantly surprised. All four teas seem to have kept quite well. This is the first one I am reviewing.

The leaf consisted of short, broken pieces, but it looked to have a huge portion (over half) of golden tip. The dry leaf had a mild aroma suggestive of rye, and was slow to infuse upon brewing.

I brewed in a Teavana bottom-pouring plastic infuser (a lot like Adagio's ingenuiTea) and watched as the color slowly progressed through a rich orange to finally reach a dark brown after the 4 minute recommended time.

The cup was very strong, with only a little up-front bitterness, but a fairly tannic finish, more astringent than bitter. Very full-bodied, with strength and depth. Aroma was quite complex, somewhat malty, but more fruity, suggesting raisins or other dried fruit, hinting at spice (perhaps cinnamon, mace, or allspice). I think this would make an outstanding base for a masala chai.

Brewed a second cup using about an 8 minute infusion. This cup was similar in overall character, but weaker, leading me to conclude that this probably isn't the best tea for making multiple infusions with, unless you want to use a lot of leaf. Although the leaf seemed to infuse slowly at first, four minutes seemed to extract most of the flavor.

Like any single-estate offering from Upton, I didn't expect this to be in stock when I checked, because it was a couple years old, but I was impressed with its freshness. It had a classic Assam flavor profile, intense, but much more aromatically complex than a typical Breakfast blend of similar strength.

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SarsyPie wrote:
on May 5th, 2014

Any idea how old the samples are? I'm curious about the shelf life of different tea varieties. There seems to be some mixed opinions about this online. I'm more used to dealing with wines and higher ABV beers which generally get better with age, so I'm having to re-train my brain for tea.

Alex Zorach wrote:
on May 5th, 2014

I'm not really sure on these, but my guess would be 3-4 years as to the age of these samples, although it's possible that it is a bit more. Assam tends to stay fresh pretty long...Ahmad Tea lists the expiration date of their Assam teas as 3 years past the packing date. I've drunk expired Ahmad Assam tea, when it was packed and sealed, and I can't tell much of a difference--what I think is a much bigger factor is storage. Constantly opening and closing a bag or tin, exposing the tea to air, does cause deterioration, especially loss of aroma. When I buy a pound of Ahmad Tea, the deterioration by the time I reach the last cup (after opening it many, many times, and perhaps storing it in a mostly-empty tin) is noticeable, even if the tea is nowhere near the expiration date...whereas an unopened package of an Assam tea past the expiration date often tastes and smells fresher to me.

I also have found competing information on how long tea stores well. If you go to the "Articles" section of RateTea, you'll find an article on Storing Tea that goes into this in depth.

Some teas are meant to be aged, and if aged properly, these will usually get better over time (but "better" is subjective, because some people like the taste of aged teas more than others). Most teas though, slowly lose flavor over time, even if stored properly.

What I've found though, and if you read the article, there is some evidence from a carefully controlled study to back this up, is that a lot of people seem to overstate the degree to which tea loses flavor. Blind taste tests often show that the deterioration of flavor is much less than stated.

Intuitively, this makes sense to me, because the profit motive would lead tea companies to benefit from people throwing out old tea more quickly, as they'd then sell more tea. It's perhaps a slightly cynical interpretation, and I don't know if this is actually going on as a motivator, but I think it's hard to deny that the incentive is there.

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