Kenya - Kosabei Estate TGFOP (TM)

Regular price £3.95

Some say and I can't disagree that this is probably the best cup of Kenya black tea around. The leaves yield a delicious amber-coloured brew with hints of malt and berry. Nicely twisted and rolled leaves with golden tips shows that care was taken in making this fine tea. Interestingly the story of Kosabei estate TGFOP perhaps one of the finest teas produced in Kenya actually begins in Assam far up n the Himalayan foothills in North Eastern India. During the 19th century long before tea was ever plated in Kenya (rumoured to have been in 1903) British planters had been clearing jungle and producing teas for the London auction up in Assam. The early planters lived in extreme isolation often weeks upriver from the nearest town. Subsequently they had a lot of time on their hands. What time they did not devote to hanging about the local "club"playing backgammon was spent experimenting with new ways to manufacture finished tea. At the time most of the world's teas were produced in China a country known for keeping a tight lid on production secrets. Initially the early Assam planters attempted to mimic the better-known Chinese tea grades - i.e. Assam Hyson Assam Congou etc. Over the years as the result of all their experimentation the Assam planters developed many new grades and styles of finished leaf leading to the classification system we know today - OP FBOP GBOP TGFOP etc. Now where does the Kenyan connection come into play? One of Assam's early planters was a man by the name of George Williamson. Williamson's excellent business acumen and knack for growing and manufacturing exceptional teas soon caught the attention of the London auction houses and his company grew into one of the largest and best-run private tea companies in the world. During their many years growing tea in Assam George Williamson's perfected the art of the tea world's finer grades among them TGFOP - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. During the early part of the new millennium George Williamson's moved their business from Assam to Kenya bringing their tea expertise with them and ushering in a new era of Kenyan production. Until the arrival of Williamson's in Kenya most Kenyan teas produced for the export market were CTC production the result of the fact that Kenya's industry came of age during the 20th century a decidedly more mechanised age than the 19th. Recognising the exceptional quality of seasonal Kenyan leaf Williamson's decided to experiment with some of the more traditional Orthodox leaf styles they had manufactured back in Assam. The result is some of the finest most flavory teas to be found anywhere on Earth. One of these Kosabei TGFOP is quite simply an outstanding tea at once light and profound gentle and astringent with notes of malt currant and moist earth.

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Flowery consists of large leaves, typically plucked in the second or third flush with an abundance of tips. Golden flowery includes very young tips or buds (usually golden in colour) that were picked early in the season. Tippy includes an abundance of tips. for more information about tea classification / grading - 


Orange Pekoe
Main grade, consisting of long wiry leaf without tips.
More delicate than OP; long, wiry leaf with a light liquor.
Bolder than OP; long leaf tea which ranges from tightly wound to almost open.
Orange Pekoe Superior
Primarily from Indonesia; similar to OP.
Flowery Orange Pekoe
High-quality tea with a long leaf and few tips, considered the second grade in Assam, Dooars, and Bangladesh teas, but the first grade in China.
Limited to only the highest quality leaves in the FOP classification.
Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
Higher proportion of tip than FOP. Top grade in the Milima and Marinyn regions, but uncommon in Assam and Darjeeling.
Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
The highest proportion of tip, and the main grade in Darjeeling and Assam.
Limited to only the highest quality leaves in the TGFOP classification.
Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
Highest quality grade.
Limited to only the highest quality leaves in the FTGFOP classification.

Type of Tea Quantity of Tea Water Temp Steeping Time
White 3-5g per cup 70c 5-6 mins
Green 3-5g per cup 75c 2-5 mins
Black 3-5g per cup 95c 4-6 mins
Oolong 3-5g per cup 95c 5-8 mins
Pu-erh 3-5g per cup 95c 4-6 mins

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