Site-Wide Activity Forums Tea News and Information Interesting Post: OMG WTF is SFTGFOP1?

2 replies, 3 voices Last updated by  mbanu 5 years, 9 months ago
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    Posts
  • #7338

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    @peter posted a link to Melange Tea’s photography in his recent update, up until then I’d never heard of this company in Pennsylvania. Owned by Boris and Yumiko they run a mobile tea (and coffee) cart. I just spent the last 15 minutes browsing their site. I’m still reading, but here’s one article I already recommend you read: “Tea Basics, OMG WTF is SFTGFOP1?
    I like their style too, pretty entertaining. I can imagine it’s also something @funandflirtea and @fyretyde would enjoy. I know @funandflirtea is trying to bring tea to the (young) masses, this might help too.

  • #7362

    Gingko
    Participant
    @gingkoseto

    Oh I love this title 😀

  • #7435

    mbanu
    Participant
    @mbanu

    Certainly interesting, but it may be a little misleading…

    The section on congou, especially. It implies two things, which are not true.

    First, it implies that congou teas use a “five leaf and a bud” plucking standard. Try some Bailin Congou or Panyang Congou; it is far too fragrant and flavorful to use such a low plucking standard. Tractor-harvested tea from Argentina might use a “five leaf and a bud” standard, but I would be quite surprised if any modern hand-picked tea did. That would defeat one of the main purposes of employing hand pickers instead of tractors to begin with.

    Related to this, it suggests that plucking standard has no impact on the quality of made tea. Following a good plucking standard is one of the most essential things in quality tea production. Probably the only thing that influences tea more is the cultivar used. I think that what happened was that the author mixed up plucking standard and grade. A tea that follows a good plucking standard will maintain its quality through most sizes of leaf. But even a tea from a famous high-altitude growing region will not be very good if it does not follow a good plucking standard. When introducing new people to tea, it is important to not encourage them to make this mistake, or only tractor-harvested tea will await us in the future. 🙂

    A less important goof that still might be worth mentioning is that the demand for different tea grades does not come from the factory process. While it is true that factories set up for making CTC tea or Fannings do need the tea to be roughly broken up to a certain size ahead of time to prevent clogging the machine, this is usually accomplished by running it through a Rotorvane or something like that, it is not an especially precise process. 🙂 Also, the sifting of the tea is done last, so any sort of process would already be completed anyway. It is true that tea needs to be all of the same size to steep evenly (otherwise the Fannings will already be oversteeped by the time the Broken Orange Pekoe is about ready), but the way it is phrased does not seem to get at that issue directly. This is actually an important consumer issue, because certain tea entrepreneurs will try to sell crude tea/aracha/maocha to those unaware of this fact.

    I also think that there is a bit of confusion in the “tippy” section. Generally damaged leaf becomes tea waste, because the damage starts the oxidation process in an uncontrolled manner, which is not good for tea. I have always thought that tippy and flowery are synonyms.

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