Temi Sikkim ~ By The Pound

The Temi tea garden in Ravangla, Sikkim (a Northeastern Indian state) is one of the most revered the world over.  As it is so small (440~ acres) I’ve only ever had one example from it: By the Pound’s Temi Sikkim. The one I’m drinking now is actually probably easily a year old, but having kept it Tupperware and out of the light, it has managed to hold on to its incredible taste and aroma. Temi Sikkim (at least the FTGFOP-1 (which translates in the traditional rating colonial rating system to “Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Main Grade Using Only the Highest Quality Leaves from the First Flush” see reference)) I’m drinking at the moment) retails for $31.99/lb.  Obviously you wouldn’t be buying a pound of a tea unless it was the only tea your drank; I probably spent $0.84 on an ounce or so.   Temi Sikkim smells a great deal like the tobacco-laced China Yunnan Golden Downy Pekoe, though obviously it has a far different makeup. The aroma is profuse with golden first flush tea leaves and malt. In texture, Temi Sikkim is a complex yet homogeneous interweave of black and golden tips (zero bitterness) with a creamy toffee-like aftertaste. When I first tried it (back when I had a real kitchen to make tea in) I remarked in my notes, ” Great aroma texture and flavor. Two thumbs up. [8/10]”.  Yet, given that Temi Sikkim has obviously outlasted most any other black tea I have, and the bag I stored it in was simple brown paper with no metal lining, I’m thinking it needs to be elevated to at least a 9 out of 10 rating. Truly a terrific tea experience.

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