Organic Yunnan FOP Select (ZY54)

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Black Tea
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From Upton Tea Imports

A classic Yunnan selection with sweet, earthy and fruity characteristics, typical of Congou from this region. The liquor has a complex flavor with light chocolate nuances and a delicate peppery finish.

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12 Tasting Notes

429 tasting notes

A nice breakfast tea with yunnan notes and a peppery finish. Nothing fantastic, but a nice yunnan.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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236 tasting notes

Welcome to the first day of Seeking a New Dawn: Carolyn’s quixotic search for the tea that probably doesn’t exist any more. I’ve ordered several batches of trial black teas from various companies: from inexpensive to pricey. In truth I really don’t care how much the tea costs as long as it fills that Dawn-shaped hole in my morning.

Today we start with an inexpensive Yunnan. The leaves are somewhat pretty with little golden bits. It has a classic tea fragrance with something light and fruity in the offing. It darkened up reasonably fast in the cup so I removed it. I’ve had a enough of over-steeped bitter tea after yesterday’s shenanigans in which no less than 3 cups of tea were ruined by my over-anxious boss’ sudden demands, which caused me to ignore the tea until it had reached the toxic stage.

There is a slight astringency but not so much as to be offensive. I’m not getting any bitterness but I suspect that it would not stand up to much more time steeping before the bitter set in. There is a very slight raisin after-taste. Overall it is an average tea. I would’t toss it, but it is not the Holy Grail of teas. I’ll finish my sample today (hoping it gives me strength for what has been a very difficult week) and move on tomorrow. It’s not a re-buy tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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26 tasting notes

Alas, poor Upton Organic Yunnan FOP Select. If I had this tea in a restaurant, I’d be delighted with it, just grateful that they served me a decent tea instead of the tannic bagged crap that’s usually served after dinner, even at good restaurants.

But, unfortunately for Organic Yunnan FOP Select, above-average doesn’t quite cut in a world of overachievers. I’ve tasted Rishi’s Organic Ancient Tree Golden Yunnan. And, FOP Select, you’re no Rishi Golden Yunnan.

I’ve tasted Ito En’s Yunnan Golden Tips. And, FOP Select, you’re no Ito En Golden Tips either. Why, I’ve even tasted FOP Select’s brother, Upton Season’s Pick Yunnan TGFOP. And you’re not that either.

Yeah, FOP Select, you’ve got that great smooth full-bodied Yunnan finish, without that smoky quality that makes some Yunnans taste like Keemun wannabees. But where’s the malt, man? Where’s the caramel quality that comes from the tips — the buds — in the tea? Where are the qualities that make Yunnans taste like Yunnans?

FOP Select, you’re O.K., but your nothing special. You’re a C+ student in a class of A scholars. You’re the journeyman utility infielder who occasionally sees some action as a pinch hitter, but who will never start a game, let alone make “the Hall.” Yeah, they’ll come out for your retirement party, say nice things about you while you’re handed your gold watch, but your portrait will never hang in the executive dining room, the dining room in which, by the way, they serve only really fine teas (yeah, in my dreams).

FOP Select, you’re a swell tea, a tea that would delight any restaurant-goer who’s resigned himself to the fact that while upscale restaurants will serve only the best coffees, they’ll serve whatever crappy tea their distributer hands them. But, alas, in my kitchen, I get to do the tea buying and I’m afraid, FOP Select, you not only lack the pesticides and artificial fertilizers I avoid in my tea, but you also lack the taste I seek. We’ll let you know if we have any openings.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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16 tasting notes

nice- I haven’t had alot of yunnan fop select but the first thing that came to mind was a little chocolate – not sure I’m getting the pepper. smells and taste of chocolate and really smooth without tannins. I dig it.

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44 tasting notes

The tea smells slightly peppery with hints of cocoa. I can’t say I taste or smell the fruity nuances as other reviewers and Upton Tea’s description implies. Call me crazy, however, because I do pick up a faint taste of caramel. It is very smooth and has a light touch of astringency. It is rather light bodied, though, and really fails to blow me away. It’s enjoyable, but I most likely won’t be ordering this one again.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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