Review of F.B.O.P. No. 1

8 of 104 of 55 of 586 of 100

This was another fantastic find at a local middle-eastern store. I am already a huge fan of Ahmad and Alghazaleen teas, and this was another tea in the same genre, yet with some interesting differences from those. Of those teas, this one tasted most similar to Ahmad's Ceylon OPA, but I liked it better.

The dry leaf is dark, wiry, and consisting of surprisingly intact pieces of leaf (especially for the FBOP1 grade.) It's only subtly aromatic, with deep fruity notes but not much else. The leaf's appearance was more impressive to me than its smell.

Brews a very dark cup. The flavor and mouthfeel is extremely clean and crisp. The aroma is quite complex, and exceeded my expectations set up by the leaf: the deep fruity notes from the dry leaf definitely come out, but on top of this there is a pleasant toasty quality, almost slightly smoky, and hints of wood and grain. The aroma is slightly reminiscent of some darker Chinese oolongs, ones with both oxidation and roast, but the overall drinking experience is more typical for a black tea. The cup is smooth, even if brewed very strongly. I found this tea easy to brew as it tastes good whether brewed mild or strong. When brewed stronger, there is a pleasantly astringent finish, not too much, just enough to make this tea brisk and refreshing.

It also resteeps very well, probably because the large pieces of leaf infuse slowly.

I also found this tea made good iced tea. It tends to produce iced tea that is a bit thinner but more refreshing, sort of deep and dark but pleasantly cooling.

I highly recommend this one, especially to people who like darker oolongs as well as strong black teas, as this one seemed to combine aspects of both. The value is exceptional, I forget exactly what I paid for this but it was around $8 for 14 ounces and I thought that was a great deal.

I only wish this tea were more widely available. I went back to where I bought it to get more as a gift, and was disappointed to find it no longer in stock. Like many of the popular middle-eastern brands, this tea is miles ahead of the mainstream brands sold in much of the US; I wish more Americans could get onto this and other similar teas.

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