I like trying teas grown in unexpected places (basically somewhere not China or India), so when I saw Arbor teas had this one, I was interested in trying it. And now I get to!
I know the vendor notes say this is SE Asia’s answer to Assam, but it really makes me think more of a Yunnan. But it’s a bright, happy, more sparkly Yunnan than most of the Yunnans I’ve had, which strike me as a bit thicker tasting. I suppose that extra bright, sweet perkiness comes from the Assam-like malt aspect giving it a different sweet note? There’s a tiny hint of astringency on the tail of the sip, but it’s a sweet dryness instead of a more Assam-like nutty bitterness, so it doesn’t make me feel like I need sugar or milk to smooth it out. Instead, it’s actually quite smooth on its own, something else that bring Yunnan teas to mind.
Overall, this strikes me as a happy tea. Not as caffeinated as an Assam or as thick as a Yunnan, but somewhere in between. A Yunnan on antidepressants perhaps? Which makes it seem like I think Yunnans are unhappy teas. I don’t. They are just more solid, mellow and even-keeled. This tea seems a little peppier and enthusiastic. Somewhat like a puppy. A tea puppy.
And since I just compared this tea to a puppy, I think it’s time for me to run away. Maybe take the second steep out for a walk so it doesn’t piddle on the carpet.