“What’s in your cup?”
This morning, courtesy of John & Amanda of t leaf T, I brewed New Zealand Breakfast Western style: 8 oz / 1 tsp (2.5g) / 212*F / 2-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.
Introduction: My wife loves Earl Grey and t leaf T has a large selection of it: https://www.tleaft.co.nz/catalogsearch/result/?q=earl+grey. When I requested samples, this Assam caught my eye. Who doesn’t love a good malty Assam for breakfast? Where else, could I possibly find a true NZ Breakfast tea?
From t leaf T:
“Natural New Zealand Manuka blends perfectly with strong assam tea to make a special blend ideal for the morning and afternoon.”
For those of us from the “up above” (as opposed to the “down under”) you might be asking yourself: ”So what the hell is Manuka?”
1. Images & description: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/table-1/manuka.html
2. It turns out that NZ Manuka flowers appear to be very popular for making honey: http://nzmanukadirect.com/
3. Manuka is also known as the Tea Tree:
“The English common name is derived from the fact that early white settlers did occasionally make infusions of tea from the leaves, which are aromatic.”
4. “The leaves contain Leptospermone, an antibiotic agent.”… “The oil extracted contains 120 elements and can be utilised medicinally.” … “This research has validated the claims made for this product with the Therapeutics Section of the New Zealand Ministry of Health.” http://www.purangi.co.nz/estate/tea/manuka.html
5. Manuka is also popular in NZ travel, tourism, & hunting vacations:
Great Barrier Island: http://www.manukalodge.co.nz/
New Zealand Hunting Safaris: http://www.manukapoint.com/new%20site/Home
And I’ve probably just scratched the surface! Who knew!
Leaf: Two kinds of Assam, 1.) twisted, short, dark chocolate brown, 2.) dark chocolate brown CTC granules, plus light green Manuka leaves
Fragrance: Moderately strong aromatic evergreen / pine
Liquor: Clear amber brown
Aroma: Moderately strong evergreen / pine
Flavor: Malty, aromatic evergreen / pine
2-min.: Medium-bodied, I then let it steep an additional min.
3-min.: Not quite, another min.
4-min.: A rich, smooth, full-bodied, malty Assam with the added flavor of aromatic Manuka, which is felt in the back of the palate in the 2nd half of the sip. There was no hint of bitterness or astringency.
5-min: Not yet.
8-min: Medium bodied & enjoyable. The Manuka flavor is now less pronounced & is now mildly aromatic.
Impression: A truly unique and enjoyable breakfast Assam, especially those looking for a “down under” adventure.
Thanks to John & Amanda of t leaf T for their gracious sample of this very fine New Zealand Breakfast Assam.
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.