Among tea snobs, Assam teas often get a bad rap and are largely relegated to the category of mass-market teas, due to the fact that there are more than 3,000 tea estates in the Assam Region, many of which produce lower-quality teas that wind up in tea bags. By comparison, there are less than 100 Darjeeling tea gardens, enabling the Darjeeling growers to better protect their “brand.” That said, however, good Assam teas from the better estates are great teas and Rembeng is definitely in that category. This organic tea is everything a good Assam is supposed to be, malty, balanced and rich enough to hold up to milk, but smooth enough to drink straight. A four- or five-minute steep seems about right. One of the best teas for making iced teas, too. Available at Itoen and a slew of other online tea purveyors.
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