Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Capital Tea Limited
Wiry brown leaves with ample golden tips. These leaves produce a smooth and rich tasting tea liquor with a particularly sweet honey-malt flavour. A very well rounded flavour profile and balanced full body makes this an excellent tea to drink with milk for any time of day.
Learn more about this tea here.
I received a sampling of this tea from a friend. Her experience with the tea wasn’t as positive as my first few sips of this tea seemed to be and I thought at first that the reason may be because of steep time. I find that Assam teas are quite finicky and temperamental. I don’t usually use boiling water for an Assam tea, I go with just slightly under (205°F) and steep the tea for not more than 2 1/2 minutes. If I’m steeping the tea in my Kati tumbler or a teapot, then I go with 2 1/2 minutes. If I’m brewing the tea in my Breville One-Touch, I go with 2 minutes.
The reason for the different brew time in my Breville? Because the tea maker will keep the liquid warmer than the act of heating the water and pouring it into a separate vessel. Even though the temperature change may be very slight, with an Assam it does make a difference.
My first few sips of this tea were pleasant enough. I picked up on sweeter notes of malt as well as a honey-like sweetness and these two flavors melded together in a nice way.
But as I continued to sip, I started to pick up on this bitter note toward mid-sip. It wasn’t that “oops, I oversteeped the tea” sort of bitterness. At first, I thought it was a savory element to contrast with the sweeter notes. However, I noticed that some of the sweetness that I picked up on early on was beginning to wane and the tannic qualities of this tea were taking over.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a tea like this, where I would have a positive experience with it at first and as I continued to sip the experience grew less and less enjoyable, but that’s what I’m getting from this. What started out with a pleasant, mild sweetness has become something more like something that’s gone bad. It was fine for the first five sips or so but as I progressed with this cup, I found that the flavors became less sweet and pleasurable and more tannic.
And now that this cup sits in front of me, I can’t really offer any redeeming words about it. I wish I could.
I do thank my friend, though, for sending me the sampling. I do appreciate it.
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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