FBOPF Extra Special (New Vithanakande)

I enjoy a Sri Lankan tea from time to time. From a Ceylon Silver Tips to a subtle orthodox black tea, some of the most interesting new teas today come from Sri Lankan farms. This FBOPF Extra Special from New Vithanakande which I picked up at the 2010 World Tea Expo is a stellar example.

Quick Info
FAB* Rating 4/4/4
Company New Vithanakande
Blend Name FBOPF Extra Special
Blend Base Black
Country of Origin Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Package Type Pouch
Price per Package $?.??
Quantity ~ 0.25 oz
*Flavor, Aroma, Boldness

If you're curious about the FBOPF portion of this teas' name, check out my explanation of tea grades.

The first thing I noticed about this tea is that the leaves are very thin and very wiry. With quite a percentage of golden tips this tea promises to be sweet. The dry aroma is light and sweet with overtones of honey.

The liquor brews to a dark brown. New Vithanakanda describes it as a russet color, and after comparing the two, I have to agree. The steeped aroma from the spent leaves and from the liquor itself are remarkably similar to the dry leaf aroma with overtones of honey and only the faintest heat notes.

When drinking this tea, the light astringency sets in and excites the palate. The honeyed overtones remain, but accompanied by the astringency creates an interesting contrast.

This tea is good for two or three steepings with good flavor, but it does fade quickly after the first brew. Each new set of leaves provides a remarkably consistent flavor profile though and I've found I can count on this tea to give me the same experience nearly every time.

I recommend this tea to fans of any black tea, but especially fans of Golden Tip Assams, monkey picked teas and Ceylon region teas.

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