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Here is another one that Sil shared with me. When asked what I would like to try, one of my requests was for some Assam or other. It’s a funny region for me. I really want to adore them, but I’m just not quite there. Nine times out of ten I’ll go for a Chinese but every once in a blue moon the Assam just strikes me as the most desirable tea on the planet.

And then I usually haven’t got any.

Lately I’ve been having some small Assam-y thoughts again, though, so it was a fairly obvious request. (Project Assam…? ponder ponder ponder )

I’m making this in the big pot to share with Husband, who opted to not have it milked. When it’s any other tea, I usually just serve it as it is, but sometimes I get confused about what he would prefer. He always drinks it without additives at home, but as soon as he sets foot on English soil he reverts to preferring his tea milked. I don’t know… maybe it’s a geography thing. (I hope he doesn’t think it’s because I won’t let him milk it… O.o )

Now, let me see. I’ve been carefully timing this, because one of the things that stops me from being all over Assam is how finicky they are. You can pretty much abuse a Chinese black from now until Christmas and it’ll still produce a drinkable cup. Sometimes rather stewed, but still drinkable. An Assam however will not put up with that sort of treatment. It will turn around and bite you back.

The aroma is quite malty, but it also has notes of raisins and honey in there. Mostly raisins. Whenever I’ve had an Assam that hasn’t been completely ruined, it seems to have always had a raisin-y aspect to a smaller or larger degree. Less so with honey.

Normally when describing something as malty, I would automatically started searching for a grain-y aspect, but I can’t really find that here. It’s more sort of wood-en for me. (And bright red, my at times weird brain supplies)’

Over it all there is a note of something that smells thick and creamy, almost… like if it had a smidge of vanilla flavouring. I’ve found that Assam generally works great for me as a base for vanilla flavouring, although peculiarly my Perfect vanilla isn’t Assam-y. Now I’m beginning to wonder if that works so well because the flavouring in those cases enhance a note which might already be there, if you know what I mean. It makes a vanilla flavoured Assam taste more natural than really flavoured. If you know what I mean.

But I digress and this tea, for the record, is not actually flavoured with anything at all.

First sip is sweet and honey-y. At the very beginning it was wood-y, but then it turned all sweet. I’m actually dithering a bit on the honey note, wondering if I think it’s more along the lines of toffee or something, but eventually I’ve come to the conclusion that I think it’s most like honey. Second sip starts me considering that question again. It’s almost like it depends on how I’ve sipped. Where on the tongue it hits first, how much I’ve been slurping, how long it takes before swallowing. At the very beginning, I think it’s like honey, but then it turns into something toffee-y and sweetie like. And I’m pretty certain it is actually the same note here. It definitely feels like the same note that changes.

So, apart from that weird sweet aspect that can’t decide what it is, we’ve got some wood-en notes to this like I found in the aroma, and they’re laying down the bottom of the flavour. It’s actually quite discreet, but it adds substance. There’s a hint of mild astringency here too, but nothing too dominating.

Now what about those raisins. peers into cup They’re in there. I know they are, because I can feel them. I just… don’t know where they are. They’re hiding from me, shouting coo-ee every now and then. I suspect the tea needs to develop a bit before I’ll find them.

The tea has cooled off a bit now, and I think we can safely say that this is one of those that only have raisin notes to a smaller degree. They’re out there a little more now all right, but nothing that makes me sit up and say ‘raisin!’. That creamy sort of milky note is very much at the forefront now and I’ve completely lost the honey/toffee/vanilla-y chameleon note. That’s a shame, because I was rather enjoying that. I liked this one best when it was very hot.

All in all, this was a highly enjoyable tea.

Hallieod

Really enjoyed reading this note! I’m still only finding out about Assams, and they puzzle me enormously because they go into the kind of teabag breakfast blends that can’t be finicky, and yet, as you say, by themselves… ?? And then why can you generally boil them for chai?? I mean, yes, they’re usually not full leaf Assams for that, but still – you’d think the CTCs would turn on you faster than full leaf. Unless my tea logic is totally off!

Ysaurella

Nice to see this assam is really appreciated – I often have difficulties with this type of teas, difficult to brew properly, quite capricious on a way. But when we find the correct way to brew it, this is lovely

Sil

So glad you enjoyed this one :) Terri made me fall in love with this one, and it comes in such a neat tin!

Angrboda

Hallieod, I’ve been wondering the same thing when it comes to chai. I don’t know if maybe all the milk and spices are there to cover up the astringency. And as you said, for breakfast teas. Especially if you brew tea in Ireland the way the do in England where they just leave the bag in. It was such a revalation to my mother in law when she noticed that I tended to stop the steeping by removing the leaves. It had never occurred to her that she could just fish the bag out when it had reached the strength she liked.

Ysaurella, yes, I totally agree. It’s probably a thing one has to learn. We had an Assam at work once, which when you missed the mark became completely undrinkable, but when you brewed it just so it had the strongest notes of honey and raisin, it was amazing. But very unsuitable for having at work.

Sil, BIG tin, though. I’m going to need to think about this carefully for a while.

Sil

It IS a big tin, but it doesn’t seems nearly as bit when you get it :)

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Comments

Hallieod

Really enjoyed reading this note! I’m still only finding out about Assams, and they puzzle me enormously because they go into the kind of teabag breakfast blends that can’t be finicky, and yet, as you say, by themselves… ?? And then why can you generally boil them for chai?? I mean, yes, they’re usually not full leaf Assams for that, but still – you’d think the CTCs would turn on you faster than full leaf. Unless my tea logic is totally off!

Ysaurella

Nice to see this assam is really appreciated – I often have difficulties with this type of teas, difficult to brew properly, quite capricious on a way. But when we find the correct way to brew it, this is lovely

Sil

So glad you enjoyed this one :) Terri made me fall in love with this one, and it comes in such a neat tin!

Angrboda

Hallieod, I’ve been wondering the same thing when it comes to chai. I don’t know if maybe all the milk and spices are there to cover up the astringency. And as you said, for breakfast teas. Especially if you brew tea in Ireland the way the do in England where they just leave the bag in. It was such a revalation to my mother in law when she noticed that I tended to stop the steeping by removing the leaves. It had never occurred to her that she could just fish the bag out when it had reached the strength she liked.

Ysaurella, yes, I totally agree. It’s probably a thing one has to learn. We had an Assam at work once, which when you missed the mark became completely undrinkable, but when you brewed it just so it had the strongest notes of honey and raisin, it was amazing. But very unsuitable for having at work.

Sil, BIG tin, though. I’m going to need to think about this carefully for a while.

Sil

It IS a big tin, but it doesn’t seems nearly as bit when you get it :)

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Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
Goodreads: Angrboda
Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014

Location

Denmark

Website

http://angrboda.livejournal.com

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