Boppin’ with Upton Tea’s Mangalam Estate GBOP Assam

Upton Tea's Mangalam Estate GBOP Cl. Spl Assam

I finally tried my first pure Assam tea with Mangalam Estate GBOP Cl. Spl (TA46) from Upton Tea. That crazy “GBOP” part of the the name has nothing to do with any music genre or dance style; it merely refers to the grade of the tea leaf. Not quite clear to me is the the meaning of “Cl. Spl”.

GBOP stands for Golden Broken Orange Pekoe. Orange Pekoe designates the size of the tea leaf. When you put the word “Broken” in front of it, you get an even finer (smaller) leaf because it has been torn or broken. If you go even smaller in leaf size than BOP, you get fannings and dust (which you find in many tea bags). At the time of this writing, I cannot explain to you with any certainty what meaning “Golden” adds to the equation.

I brewed a 4-cup teapot, letting it steep about 3.5 minutes. The final product was amber in color.

Immediately noticeable was a malty characteristic, which I recognize from the many Assam-rich, name-brand teas I drink on a regular basis. On the back end was a mild fruity flavor. A little honey was required to temper the bitterness, but overall, this tea was quite enjoyable.