I received this one in a swap from TeaEqualsBliss. MMMM, strong, delicious strongness. Just what I need to get me up and going. I normally try not to have anything new so as not to spoil my tasting with food contamination (oh, who am I kidding. I have no taste!). Anyway, I was in the mood for something completely different, so I descended on my sample stash and picked this one out. I was kind of skeptical, looking at all those little tiny pellets of tea, but I am convinced! There is a bit of astringency, which isn’t too bad, and something vaguely bready about the scent. I’m drinking it sans additions, so it is good I only steeped it for two and a half minutes instead of the three plus that they recommend. Even at the lower than recommended steep, it is still plenty strong. I think the assam dominates the cup, with its astringency and maltiness.
Also, I have to say, I had this with grapefruit this morning, and the grapefruit completely knocked out the astringency and robustness of the tea. Taking a sip right after a bite of grapefruit was a completely different experience than taking a sip a few minutes after I had finished the grapefruit. It was mellow and smooth, considerably less in your face right after the grapefruit. Interesting, what tea and food pairings do for each other.