thanks so much Nina’s Paris for these samples! I really wanted to try a sample of the Nina’s Japon as soon as I saw someone else’s tasting note for it, then later that day I saw an offer for samples! I thought I’d try the straight assam first, so I can try the base of the others by itself. There was maybe a teaspoon and a half in my sample, so I just used every last leaf for this steep. Four minutes later, I get a reddish brown color and quite the kick! I might have used too much tea or steeped too long, but this is brisk and a bit astringent, yet still a bit above medium bodied. I’m reminded of a dark rye bread.. so this would have been perfect for a couple days ago on St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a bit malty, but less than I would expect from an assam. It’s very delicious! The second steep at just boiled for four minutes tames the briskness down a bit. Now there is more of that assam sweet, and a bit of a unique fragrance. Now it kind of seems like it would be a chocolate rye bread. I really love this one… can’t wait to try the others from Nina’s!