I was relieved to discover I do still have one or two non-Green Arbor Teas hidden among my various Tupperware containers. At a recent visit to Arbor Farms Market (the one physical location i know of where Arbor Teas can be purchased in loose leaf) i was fairly disappointed in that i didn’t find anything that peaked my interest. I guess I’ll just have to make another online order soon. I should really take advantage of their free delivery in the city of Ann Arbor and have some tea delivered to my work address, but apart from pizza and sandwiches, personal delivers are just not acceptable behavior at my workplace. *sigh*
Probably the most fun thing about Assam Tonganagoan Estate (Organic Black) is trying to pronounce its name. The most interesting thing about Assam Tonganagoan Estate however, was the mystery i encountered when i tried to determine exactly where this tea garden is found. It turns out Tonganagoan is probably mispelled. Although it took a couple hours of research (and the use of a couple different Bengali dictionaries), I was able to determine that Tonganapara Nepali Gaon, Assam 787057, a tea garden north of Dhemaji, is probably the one meant by “Tongana Gaon” (though it’s been recently bought by the Chamong Tee Exports group). The word “Gaon” rather than “goan” is basically the Bengali word for village (if you’ll allow for some untranslatable linguistic nuance that’s driving me batty). I would further back this up with the fact that at some point in the past Upton has previously sold a Tonganagaon Estate Assam SFTGFOP1 Organic that sounds basically like my following description of today’s tea:
In aroma, Assam Tonganagaon Estate shines with a wet malty almost ginger or wasabi-like spice. In flavor, it’s halfway between a Darjeeling and an Assam CTC, a bitter but gooey semi-dry Indian Black. Texture-wise, I’m kind of at a loss. Assam Tonganagaon Estate is actually so Tip-ladden that it resists my normal spit-test (i won’t gross you out with specifics). Suffice it to say, Assam Tonganagaon Estate is a robust, Tippy syrupy Black that will not disappoint. On their site, Arbor claims that Assam Tonaganagaon Estate was sold at auction as SFTGFOP1 and i agree the appellation seems to fit.
- Aroma – 94
- Taste – 93
- Texture – 94
- Spunk – 95 (Kudos for organic)
- Rarity – 97
- Availability – 95
- Appearance – 94 (Assam Tonganagaon Estate would probably lend itself to tea leaf reading if you’re into that (…maybe i should learn?))
Mean score – 94.57 rounds to 95%
Although it’s a surprise, i have no qualms awarding Assam Tonganagaon Estate my coveted (well, okay, maybe someday xD) Best in its Class accolade. Given Assam Tonganagaon Estate is organic and uber rare it easily displaces Mangalam Super Premium for the top Assam seat. Although i admit i am still more impressed with Mangalam’s unfurl and liquor; in a blind taste test it’d probably be a toss up. This kind of diversity is what makes tea so fascinating. Congratulations and well done Arbor Teas!
I won the birdfeeder (at silent auction) above as a Christmas present for my mother and she’s already put it to use. ;)