Honestly, my expectations of this tea? Not so high. I mean, sure it is loose and (at least in the US) not your every day stuff. But still, it’s only $6 and change for 4oz and something I picked up at the grocery store so I’m not expecting angels to sing.
And while there were no celestial choirs, this tea surprised me. It smelled cardboard-y and cuddly so that’s good. But I was expecting it to taste a bit flat, maybe a bit rough and bitter. Nope. I did add sugar (one tsp for 12oz) but it had it’s own sweetness out side of the sugar, and I used half and half but really, I couldn’t detect any roughness hiding underneath it (tannins yes, roughness no). More malty than cardboard-y (a little more lightness and rounded flavor is the main difference there I suppose) with a little sweetness and nuttiness, I enjoyed my cup. The tea was strong and a little aggressive but only in a good, robust morning tea way, not in a “mommy, make the scary man go away” way. And the caffeine was sneaky and very there (which is good because that means I can postpone my nap until after lunch).
At some point I’ll give this a try straight but I don’t know how much that will influence my overall enjoyment of this tea (of course, I am assuming it will be less pleasant with no sugar or milk… I could be wrong). This tea pretty much fits my idea of a nice, wake-me-up, robust but not overly special morning tea.
On top of that, it seemed like a good tea to have since this song came up on my iPod this morning: http://vimeo.com/794351 When I say ‘Assam’, you say ‘lovely’!