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Daisajan STGFOP 1 CL TPY, 2ND FLUSH 2012, Assam — Huh?

Ever wondered what STGFOP or TPY mean, when written after teas?   While these terms may not look that important, they are.  Understanding these terms will help you quickly identify the tea, where it was grown, when it was harvested, whether the full leaf, broken leaves and/or tips are included.

Let’s take a look at Daisajan STGFOP1 CL TYP 2nd Flush 2012 Assam and try to dissect it a little, to find out more about this specific tea.

First of all, it’s an Assam tea — grown at lower altitudes than Darjeeling tea, for example, with this particular tea grown in the Daisajan region.

STGFOP1 – Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe, grade 1.   This is top grade tea, often hand harvested. OP1 denotes delicate, long leaves that produce a light liquor.  “Tippy, golden, flowery” indicates that the tea includes a high proportion of tips as well as the high quality tea leaves.

CL TYP –  Clonal plant type.  In an effort to produce more hardy tea plants, and to enhance specific qualities in tea, some tea bushes are cloned rather than grown from seeds.   They actually  some of the most sought after teas, often sold for higher prices.

2nd Flush 2012:  These teas were harvested between early June and mid August, by far the most popular flush with Assam teas as it includes the golden “tips” which adds to the sweetness and smoothness of the teas.

So, as you can see, if you buy Daisajan STGFOP1 CL TPY, 2ND FLUSH 2012, Assam you are purchasing a high quality, smooth, sweet Assam tea.

These terms are mainly used to help define and classify teas from India and Sri Lanka but are not commonly used to describe teas from China and Taiwan.

For more information on the terms commonly used to denote tea type and grade, you will find a fairly comprehensive and easily understood list on Wikipedia.

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Ever Wondered How GABA Tea is Actually Made?

I know I have.

How do you “nitrodize” (made up word, please note) rather than oxidize tea leaves.  After a little research I finally discovered just how it’s done.

As mentioned in a previous article on GABA tea, it was discovered more than 20 years ago when Japanese scientists were experimenting with ways to better preserve food–presumably with the use of nitrogen.  Surprisingly, when tea leaves were exposed to nitrogen, GABA levels rose enormously.

I will not reiterate the amazing benefits of GABA here, as I have already done so in previous articles. Let’s just say it’s REALLY good for you, it occurs naturally in the human body and has great anti-stress properties. It also lowers blood pressure and improves the clarity of your mental processes.

Here’s How It’s Made

The tea leaves are harvested normally.  The GABA tea we sell is made from Alishan Jinxuan Oolong tea.  I have read that it can also be made from green tea and presumably from any type of tea–which will, no doubt, slightly alter the taste of the tea. I have not yet experimented with GABA made from different types of tea, but I presume the type of tea used would affect the actual taste of the tea as each tea has subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) flavour and aroma differences.  Most sources agree that using higher grade tea is best as there are naturally higher levels of glutamic acid–the base ingredient that GABA is formed from–in better quality tea.

Also, tea grown at higher elevations benefits from warm days and cool nights — again something that is supposed to enhance natural glutamic acid levels in tea leaves.

The tea is shaded prior to being picked, which apparently increases glutamic acid levels even further. Once the leaves are picked they are placed in vacuumed drums, all oxygen is removed and is replaced with nitrogen. The length of time the leaves are exposed to nitrogen is a fairly well kept secret–though probably somewhere around 8 hours or so.  After that, the tea is processed as normal.

GABA tea is enjoying quite a bit of popularity now.  Some of the best GABA teas, in my opinion, are made in Taiwan where the Taiwanese produce it for export to Japan. In order to qualify as genuine GABA tea by Japanese standards the GABA levels must be measurable at 150mg of GABA per 100ml

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“Spring Special” Three Amazing Tea Choices at Discount Prices

Rose Oolong Tea

I’m excited to offer a chance at buying some incredibly great teas at discounted prices, in celebration of Spring! For my spring selection, I chose one green tea, one oolong tea and one black tea, including two spring flavoured teas!

The Rose Oolong tea is a delightfully scented, and high-quality oolong tea with a subtle rose scent. In fact, you can see some of the tiny rose petals still in evidence amongst the tea leaves.  Normally, this sells for a minimum of $15.99 per 100gm. With this tea, tiny rose petals are added to  premium hand-picked Jin Xuan oolong tea, making for a terrific blended tea.  Choosing the right snacks or food to go along with a specific tea is as much of an art as wine and food pairing. Try eating some stronger, hard cheese and crackers with your Rose Oolong, or serve along with a chicken or turkey meal.

Jasmine Green Tea

Jasmine Green tea, a favourite amongst many tea-drinkers, is another of my Spring choices. The scent of jasmine always reminds me of spring and this tea hasa sweet and fragrant scent to it. The brewed tea should also have a faint jasmine aroma. Green teas generally pair well with salads and also with seafoods. Of course, this particular tea is great for drinking on its own.

Black teas are often traditionally people’s first choice of breakfast tea. High quality Keemun black tea, which normally retails at around $22 per 100gm, is no exception. This tea is a great breakfast choice as it has a very subtle chocolate flavour, albeit without the sweetness that is normally associated with chocolate. This makes it an ideal beverage to end your breakfast with or to accompany a pancake breakfast, for example.  It also pairs well with curry dishes or other spicy foods such as Mexican, Thai or Chinese foods.

Keemun Black Tea

I hope you enjoy the three choices I have prepared for my “Spring Special”. If you are new to drinking loose leaf tea, these three choices will give you the ideal opportunity to explore the difference in taste between green, oolong and black tea. For seasoned tea drinkers, you will hopefully enjoy the freshness of these different types of teas and enjoy experimenting with drinking them at different times and pairing with different snacks and meals.

Hopefully, soon I will post

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