Oh, this is a top tier Assam, for sure. Prepared as on the packet (1 tsp per 6 oz water, 3 min steep time) and taken with a bit of milk and sugar, it’s very smooth and not harsh at all. It has a rich mouthfeel and a rounded, robust flavor. As you’d expect, it’s quite malty, but there’s more than just that going on. I’m having a little trouble placing what exactly the more subtle flavors were – maybe some carrots – but my girlfriend said that she tasted some jasmine. She agreed that the tea tasted special; normally she prefers Chinese teas, but she really liked this one. This cup was a tiny bit weaker than I’d like, so I’ll let it steep another 30 seconds next time.
The funny thing about this tea is the aroma of the dry leaves – there’s surprisingly little! Most of the looseleaf teas I get sock me in the face when I open the packet, but not this one. It’s mild and pleasant. This is one of the few teas where the flavor beats out the smell of the leaves.
Overall this is one of the best Assams I’ve had, and probably top-5 among all black teas. It is a very satisfying tea.