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.