More than any other type of tea, single estate teas are able to capture and showcase the versatility, variety, and quality of the humble tea leaf in an amazing way. With a single origin tea, the effects that weather, terroir (that is, soil) and different harvesting seasons and times have on the finished product is far more noticeable than it would be in a blend. For lower quality tea estates this can be an issue, as any flaws are not easily hidden. However, for high quality tea estates like the one we are featuring on the blog this week, the subtleties and nuances from the region lend the finished tea character and the remarkable elegance that makes it truly a world class tea. For some, single estate teas are the only teas people will drink. These loyalists will find an estate that they like and support it by drinking only its tea over a period of years. WIth the time and attention of drinking the tea of only one estate over many years, people are able to notice and appreciate subtle changes from year to year and truly get to know the region intimately.
Of course, single estate teas can (and should) be enjoyed while drinking other teas as well. That’s why at Herbal Republic, we love being able to share the teas of amazing and passionate tea growers to people around the world. One of the largest problems facing small tea growers today apart from climate change is the lack of exposure they receive on the global market. The great teas of single estates rarely get the attention that they deserve for their great value and high quality which is exactly why we like to share them with you when we get the chance. Our Korakundah Estate tea is a great example.
The tea we carry is the Korakundah Estate decaf and organic “FBOP,” as we consider it to be a good representation of the teas of the estate, as well as a tea that is more than able to stand on its own two feet among the best in the world.
Located in Southern India, the Korakundah tea gardens are some of the most beautiful in the world. Mountainous terrain and rocky soil characterize the region as well as pristine water and rich, densely packed foliage. The Korakundah estate has gardens at various altitudes, giving the teas they produce added complexity. The land of the estate is rich in vitamins and minerals which are absorbed by the tea leaves and add extra flavour to the teas produced by the farm. The Korakundah team is dedicated not only to producing teas of the highest quality, but also to preserving the world that enables them to produce such amazing teas again and again. Instead of extracting the Earth’s resources, they prefer to live with the earth and give back what they can. For this reason, all Korakundah estate teas are 100% organic. Like Herbal Republic, Korakundah Estate agrees that tea can be grown and enjoyed without poisoning the Earth with harmful chemicals and pesticides.
We get many questions about our products that have seemingly random letters attached to their names. On teas like this one, the letters “FBOP” are an acronym referring to the tea’s “grade,” or leaf material structure. For this Korakundah tea in particular, the letters “FBOP” stands for a grade of “Finest Broken Orange Pekoe,” which is a description of the leaves used in the tea. To break it down further, the term “finest” signifies that a large proportion of the leaf material is comprised of “tips.” Tips are the small, nutrient dense and highly flavourful parts of the tea leaf. The rest of the acronym, “Broken Orange Pekoe” refers to the broad midsections of the leaf that are partially broken. The broken orange pekoe leaves are what give this tea a sturdy backbone and a rich body, making the end result well balanced and pleasant.
A bright floral sweetness is the most prominent characteristic of this tea. The light floral notes are backed by a medium body and a smooth, silky mouthfeel. With a flavour profile similar in many aspects to members of the oolong family, this decaf and organic black tea would be a perfect choice for oolong drinkers who want to begin to explore the world of high quality black teas. Mineral notes from the tea’s rocky and fertile terroir give the tea a clean and pure finish and a complexity not often experienced from the black tea family.
This tea is undeniably an easy drinker because of its simple and sweet flavour profile and easily approachable medium body. While it is a tea produced by a single estate with a tremendous amount of care and attention to detail, that doesn’t mean that the tea is at all intimidating or difficult to drink. Far from it, this tea would be a great option for beginners and veterans alike who only want a tea to sip on as they relax from a long day. More difficult teas may require a parsing of flavours and getting over high levels of astringency, but this tea is as welcoming as an old friend. We know you will enjoy it.