Assam Tea Company
Popular Teas from Assam Tea CompanySee All 40 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
First before I forget – who was looking for Sleepytime Vanilla overseas? I found a few boxes today.
After all the talk about Assam today, I thought it fitting that I drink one of their teas this evening as I start to wind down. Rooibos-based chai, and I can tell immediately it’s heavy on the pepper and cardamom. If you like that sort of thing, it’s delicious. I found it pretty dull tasting until I added some Truvia, and then it perked up with strong licorice accents and again, cardamom and pepper. There’s some ginger I think floating around too, and orange comes in very, very faintly. I wish there was more orange. Odd steep time listed on this bag (3 minutes for a rooibos?) however I followed it.
A decent chai, and probably amazing if I added some coconut milk. Alas, I’m too lazy to go find some, as I sit, watch Bones, and get all of the nametags ready for the 20s-themed murder mystery on Tuesday.
This is Miss Cranky Pants sharing her tea review today, normally known as MissB. You’ve been warned! :)
A good chunk of my day was spent dealing with shipping issues with two separate tea orders. The first is with Butiki; the package was shipped late last month, and USPS shows it was delivered November 1st. What? So I look, and the address is wrong (thanks to PayPal, and my own too fast re-ordering because I’d chosen to take the funds out of my bank account – delay in processing – versus my credit card). It’s my old address, from a landlord who was great while I lived there, however still has yet to return my significant damage deposit. USPS shows that someone actually SIGNED for it at my old house, which concerns me even more.
So I text my old landlord, who replies back within the hour, “Will check with tenant and get back to you! He is an honest guy!” Sigh. If he was honest, he would have told someone fifteen days ago – when they received the package and signed for it – that it was either there, or returned to sender.
The second package frustration came from Assam Tea Company, which sits only a 10 minute walk from my house. I ordered a schwack of their (really inexpensive yet decently sized) sample-sized tea last week, and as per their website, emailed them to say I’d prefer picking up my order, and to arrange a time to do so. Two days later (?) I get a reply, telling me they’re ever so sorry, however it’s already been labelled to ship. Huh? Is it really that big of a warehouse that they couldn’t walk on over to the packer/shipper and say, “Hey, that order over there? The customer wants to pick it up.” Of course it’s small enough, because it’s in a residential area. However, they chose not to, and so I wanted another several days before it was shipped, and then one day for it to go across town to the shipping warehouse, and then delivered to my door today. Thankfully, they have flat-rate shipping of $3.95… but still.
Finally, the packaging of the Assam teas, while cute and professional, only list the amount of tea in ounces. So… is 2 grams a teaspoon or a tablespoon? Do I really need to get a scale to measure this out? I’m frustrated, and just want to make some tea at this point, so I arbitrairly decide it’s a rounded teaspoon. Also, I’ve made up enough for a liter, and there’s still a good portion left. However – you guessed it – their (again, surprisingly large sample size) bags aren’t resealable. Oh yea, and for all of their specificity for steep times and amount of tea, they failed to include water temperature suggestions. Okay sure, I can figure it out.
Miss Cranky Pants Deactivated mostly because she’s getting a bit nasty. :(
Dry, this smells like super sweet apricots still on the tree (read: there’s a slight vegetal smell). Brewed, it smells pineapple-y and apricot-ish, however only faintly. Hot, this tastes like a black tea with ever so slight apricot notes (yes, you read that right – this is a green that tastes like a black to me), and they develop after the sip slightly over time. I really have to search for the apricot, yet it’s there. A 1/2 tsp per cup of Truvia brings the apricot front and centre, with a bit of tanginess to boot, however now the green tea also becomes more prominent and I can taste a very slight astringency mid-way through the sip, almost as if it were a black. Now though, I definitely can tell this is a green tea. Odd.
It’s a nice tea if you like apricot, and one to try if you’re doing a taste-off. There’s little here that’s knock-your-socks off though, just a solid good.
So i figured i’d try this again tonight since it’s cold and dreary outside AND i wanted something that was non caffeinated. While this isn’t a terrible blend overall, it’s just not what i want in a chai. Maybe it’s te anise but there’s something in this one that just makes me want to sneeze (or the black pepper?) I tried to add a bit of milk to it to see if that changed how i felt about it and it turns out…not so much.
Satrupa – Small Whole SFTGFOP 2nd flush
Dry: clean, fruity-mulberry notes, earth, warm spice, hickory
Wet: clean, mellow, sweet, tannic, tin
Appearance: gorgeous leaf cut, mingled umber hued leaves, with silvery and golden threads,
Cup: bright, brassy-orange liquor. Light front flavor, extremely clean, gently sweet, with silk-like finish and faint textural build with repeated sips. Elusive fruity, walnut, and spicy notes mingle and merge with the refreshing and fluid body.
Subtle and extremely drinkable.
notes: I owe Saunam Bhattacharjee a debt of gratitude for his wonderful and generous nature and the transparency that he has shown with regards to his family’s tea company and the knowledge he shared of its production and estate. I contacted him in 2011 and quickly grew to appreciate all that he does and his gifts allowed me to also create a graded example of tea from every sort that I use in my educational classes, demos, and tastings. The samples he shared literally go from PF through the whole range of leaf cuts and this has allowed me to not only learn a great deal, but also to share this with others.
I chose to write about this tea, even though its over a year old, because Saunam recently had a personal tragedy befall his family as his mother and father were brutally murdered. You can read more directly here: http://mkbasia.blogspot.ca/search/label/Konapathar%20Tea%20Estate
and please offer you kind words if you can as this is an example of some of the social and political upheaval that permeates tea regions that are important for all of us to be aware. His loss is horrible and unimaginable and I deeply wish him the best.
On a side note as well…I have begun a tea blog http://705thteadisambiguation.blogspot.com/
and a facebook site “Tea Around Town” https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tea-Around-Town/435275026553658
that I hope will link in to future events and help grow my local tea culture.
That may also explain where some of my notes/posts go :)
This is an interesting chai. I’m not sure it’s how i’d prefer to drink my chai and with milk, the balance might be a little better. What i’m enjoying about this one is that it’s caffeine free AND it’s not overly – clove-y. I do like cloves and cinnamon in my chai but i like that this one is different than the other chais that i’ve tasted in that regard. There is a bit of something in it that tickles my nose a bit as a drink it, but over all it’s neat.
The third and final tea from the Amoda Tea Tasting Box for the month of November. I liked this Rooibos Chai, easily one of the best Rooibos Chai blends I’ve had. I liked the way the spices were brought together.
Not surprisingly, it is very fragrant. Dry, I smell the anise and the cardamom. Brewed, I smell the cinnamon and clove with notes of anise and orange in the background.
The organic rooibos can be tasted, but the flavors meld well with the other flavors of the chai … it completes the flavor very nicely, actually. The orange acts to brighten up the cup without playing a strong role in the overall cup, and the spices are warm and spicy without tasting spicy hot … this one warmed me up from the inside out.
This tea is alright, but let me down in the “malt” department. I was hoping for a tea that would brew up with a very malty taste and a darker color, but was a bit disappointed.
Not a bad tea, but maybe my expectations were too high
Assam Silver Needle (white tea – bud tip only)
Dry: soft subtle floral hints, like a cross between early spring daisy and chrysanthemum
Wet: ocean salt, mineral
Appearance: beautiful long ghostly white, silvery needles covered in subtle down. Transforms into rust streaked Asian pear-green, deeply veined buds that slowly ‘rain’
Cup: 1st extraction has a pearl colored hue and luster with faints hints of yellow at its edges. The cup is graced with a light, elusive floral flavor that is balanced against the flavor of fresh, sweet green beans. The cup is clean and smooth, light bodied and with a rear throat tickle that hints at astringency but never manifests. The cup is refreshing and lingers longer than expected and presents further flavors that are not unlike honey comb. 2nd extraction is deeply yellow, nearly sporting copper hints against the edges of the cup. Spicy, vegetal flavors increase and a mild tannin note paints the back of the throat, body increases and favors become predominately front notes with a side tongue muted spice resembling white pepper. Bears some similarity to the Ceylon Silver tip that I have had in the past, but more subtle.
Brewing Method: Traditional cupping set using 2grams of tea in 6 oz of 185 degree water and allowing initial steep to go 4 minutes to generate strong flavor intensity…following steeps were with 200 degree water and 4 plus minute steep times.
I enjoy the subtle flavors of finely crafted White teas, particularly bud only selections. I ordered this out of curiosity and found that the company is passionate and enthusiastic about tea and in particular Assam, in a way that I had yet to experience. I highly recommend them to any tea lover who appreciates passion, quality, and uniqueness in their tea and in the people who sell it.
This has an almost roasted apricot scent to it, with a hint of bubblegum. It tastes primarily of good fresh tea, with a pleasant adition of apricot, which is just how I like it. Sweetening brings the fruit out.