Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Steepster Select
Assam is home to big, full bodied black teas and this is a classic from the region – a perfect cup right out of bed or for an afternoon pick me up. Our Assam Breakfast is sturdy enough to take milk but is wonderful on its own as well.
This Assam English Breakfast from Steepster – another from their “first flush” Steepster Select box – impresses me as a remarkably smooth Assam tea. Typically, I find Assam teas to be a very rich and hearty tea, but sometimes that rich, robust flavor teeters on the edge of harshness and can be bitter if steeped for even a few seconds too long.
Conversely, I can’t detect even a hint of bitterness with this tea. Granted, I was careful with the steep time (I steeped it for 3 minutes). But, even at that three minutes, I don’t notice even the slightest bitter intonation. It is sweet, a little malty and full-flavored. Even the astringency here is on the mild side.
That said, I don’t know that this would make a really good breakfast blend. It’s that sturdy and almost harsh character that makes Assam a good tea for the additions of milk and honey. This is so smooth and nicely round that I think milk and honey – or other sweetener – is not only unnecessary but would likely overwhelm the wonderful qualities of this tea. No, I like this tea just the way it is.
It isn’t edgy the way some Assam teas can be. Instead, I get to enjoy the rich, classic malty notes of an Assam without the sometimes bitter bite that comes with Assam.
A really good Assam! Well done, Steepster!