Black tea: Ceylon FBOPFEXSP


Milk chocolate taste with light, smokey notes and a nonsense acronym attached.
Black tea » Indian* » Ceylon teas (Sri Lanka), ★★★★

This tea tastes a little harder than the softer Assam teas, especially the nutty-chocolatey Assam from Nonaipara Estate.

First, you’ll notice a milk chocolatey taste and mouthfeel. It’s pleasant and would handle lemon or milk and sugar very well. Traditional, British tea-drinkers would love this Ceylon.

Second, you’ll feel a very slight smokiness that becomes a little more evident in later brews (as the sweetness wanes). It’s not overpoweringly smokey—it’s not a smoked tea. By comparison, the smokey taste is on a similar level to that of Gunpowder Green (another unsmoked tea).

I have no clue as to what those letters in “Ceylon FBOPFEXSP” stand for. That’s not because I don’t understand the grading nomenclature, but because there is no such acronym for describing a grade of tea. Google the acronym on its own and you’ll be directed to the product page for my local tea store, T2. I’m wondering whether “Ceylon FBOPFEXSP” is just another clever marketing trick by T2. Bless them.

I would definitely buy this tea. ★★★★

* the “Indian” branch of my Tea Types 2012 chart represents teas from the Indian subcontinent (of which Sri Lanka and three Indian regions are all sub-categories). It’s geographically rational, but politically wrong. But tea trees don’t care about politics.

6 thoughts on “Black tea: Ceylon FBOPFEXSP

  1. Hello there,
    Until very recently, I worked for T2 and I now work for Twinings in the UK.
    The FBOPFEXSP acronym is indeed an odd one, but isn’t nonsense (just a bit of a variation), it stands for Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings Extra Special. Hope that’s some help.


    1. Thank you for your message.

      I think the appropriate acronym would be, “FBOPF Ex. Spl.”, but even that acronym is rare.

      I understand that T2 tends to rename existing teas. Could this be to prevent customers from finding their teas cheaper elsewhere? To make T2’s selection feel more ‘special’?

      Examples include “Oolong”, “Oolong Dancong”, and “Ning Hong Jing Hao”.

      “Ceylon FBOPFEXSP” is a very good tea, nonetheless!


  2. P.S. I love T2, and their new stores are really exciting. They have lights, music, glitzy tea-sets and packaging with a gorgeous feel to it.


  3. I love that tea. The odd acronym is also used ibyn my local dealer in Vienna/Austria.
    Nevertheless, there is nothing “Broken” and certainly no “Fannings” in this wonderful tea.
    I guess they just used all acronyms available to show how “extra special” this tea is 😉


    1. oops. I take that back. No “Fannings” in the acronym.
      F BOP F means “Finest Broken Orange Pekoe Flowery”
      A grade for the finest broken orange pekoe from Ceylon’s “low districts”.


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