Got a sampler of this recently and gave it a try in a head-to-head taste test with two other recommended assam teas from Upton. This one had beautiful colors in the leaves, with orange, yellow mixed in with the black. The brew is dark and a bold flavor. It has some spicy notes, some astringency, some maltiness and fruity notes. It’s a good blend of flavors and a bold assam. Their description says the dry environment in India this year resulted in strong teas. So you may want milk with yours. I tried it black with raw cane sugar as sweetener.
115 Tasting Notes
This tea at first glance looks like a golden Yunnan. It’s got a similar aroma and flavor as well but its unique enough to be its own variety. It’s a very good flavor with the honey and spicey notes. The brew is a deep amber color and offers a bold cup.
Opened a new bag today and found it (based on the first sampling of it) to be disappointing. If I were blindfolded I’d say it wasn’t the same tea. I’m not sure what happened but it wasn’t a great taste, the maltiness I’m used to in this tea wasn’t there. I’ll hope for better results next steeping.
No notes yet.
I’m not a huge fan of white teas but I have found some that are very good. This tea I got from one of my favorite tea shops, the Tao of Tea. It’s an organic white tea from southern India, in the mountainous Nilgiri region. The leaves a long and hard, reminding in looks to some pine needles at first. The liquor steeps up a pale golden yellow color. I find the flavor very subtle and uninspiring for me. It’s ok… but I prefer a little more flavor.
I’m not a huge fan of darjeeling tea but it’s growing on me. When I do drink it I gravitate towards the 2nd flush varieties as they are less “grassy” flavored. I decided to order this one based on the description. It’s described as a high elevation Himalayan foothills variety. I enjoy Nilgiri teas for their higher elevation growths contributing to a milder less astringent flavor. The description doesn’t say more specifically why it’s a “blend” other than maybe they mixed with darjeelings from several farms/estates. The brew from this has a medium muscatel flavoring that is mild and tasty, not astringent and quite nice. I think I steeped it longer than I wanted to but it still tastes very nice.
I’ve been into assams teas lately. Early on in my “turn on” to loose leaf teas I didn’t like assam teas. I found them bitter. Then I discovered that not all Assams are equivalent. And I discovered that if you steep for 2 or at most 2 1/2 minutes you prevent most of the bitterness. What little is left can be masked with a splash of milk. Take a good tippy assam, steep two minutes, add some sweetener and you can have a really delicious tea.
I was recommended this particular assam by the Upton Tea CS manager. I recommend this tactic for any tea shop. Find an experienced tea buyer or someone who knows the shops teas very well, tell them what you like and ask for suggestions. It works quite well.
As the description for this tea states, it’s a strong assam. The leaves are thicker than most assams, with tight kinks in it. It’s partially broken but still large chunks remain. I like a chunky leaf tea. The brew is dark and bold. I steeped a tad over 2 minutes and I don’t taste any bitterness. This is a great strong assam. I am trying it with just some Stevia sweetner, no milk. It’s really a great flavor. It has some malty character to it but the flavor it has is very good. I am
Just got this new (for me) tea in from Upton. I was looking for a replacement to a Yunnan I had from last year (2008) but it too was a seasonal pick and therefore no longer available. The friendly CS dept manager at Upton pointed me to this tea as a possible replacement.
Like some other teas, Yunnans seem to come in various shades (amounts) of golden colored leaves. I was looking for a darker less golden version to offset my collection of golden leaf Yunnans. This tea surprised me in that it’s a more broken leaf than I was expecting. It says FBOP grade but I’m not always sure how broken is “broken”. This has small particles. The color is darker with some tips mixed in. The flavor for me is more golden flavored than the appearance would suggest. So the distinctive flavor of a golden Yunnan is stronger than I was expecting but it’s a very good flavor… just not quite what I was looking for in a darker leaf Yunnan.
My order from Upton arrived today so even though I don’t usually drink black teas at night, I was anxious to sample at least one of the teas I had purchased. I selected this tea from the batch.
It’s a Chinese tea, my favorite country source of tea, from the province of Hubei. I’ve had Congou tea before but I don’t recall ever having a golden tipped tea from there. This particular tea was recommended by Karen Park in the Upton CS dept. She stated it was currently an office favorite there and brewed up every day. I can see why! This tea is outstandingly yummy.
The aroma from this tea is wonderful. It smells almost good enough to eat. Once brewed, the liquor is darker golden color and the flavor has a slight smokey-bacon flavor. That may sound odd and even distasteful, especially to a vegetarian like me but the flavor is really good. It reminds me of a green tea I used to be able to get called Chinese Beauty Rings… green tea wrapped around chop sticks and having a slight hint of smokiness like this one. This one is a similar flavor but stronger and more complex. I highly recommend this tea!
Sipping Satrupa Estate Assam this morning… a favorite assam with maltiness and yummm and little bitterness if steeped about 2 minutes.
This is one of my first favorite teas ever and still is after many years of use. I think it used to be called Guangdong Red when I first bought it but that provider discontinued it and then I found that Whole Foods carried it in the bulk section. A Silk Roads tea this is a really nice black china tea with a very nice flavor.
Today I missed my steep timer and I oversteeped it… while China black teas generally hold up to oversteeping quite well, at 15 minutes, it’s just too much and has a little bitterness and not nearly as good as usual. It’s drinkable but not recommended for what usually is a fantastic tea. I recommend a 3 minute steep and even up to 5 is fine.
This is a delicious darjeeling tea I bought from Tao of Tea in their walk-in store. The label doesn’t say which flush it is but it appears to be first flush. However, unlike other first flush darjeelings, it does not have the typical vegetal “grassy” flavoring found in other first flushes which I tend to avoid. The leaves almost look like a white tea, with a lighter green appearance with some oxidation showing in places. It almost looks like Oriental Beauty Oolong leaves.
The muscatel flavoring is subtle but nice, not overpowering. There’s a mild honey like flavor aftertaste that’s very nice. I really enjoy this tea and since this is the last of my supply, I will look forward to getting more next store visit.
This is my current favorite 2nd flush Darjeeling. As with most of the teas I get from Tao of Tea, this one is an excellent quality tea. The muscatel flavor and aroma from this organic tea is very good and I enjoy sipping it this morning.
This Chinese tea I got from Floating Leaves in Seattle is a really nice tea. For me it has a some notes of chocolate, a slight hint of roastiness, but reminds me of a Mao Fang tea. It’s a nice bold tea and good in the morning or after lunch.
While this is currently not available on their web site, this SpecialTeas tea is a favorite assam I have found that is excellent value. I look for malty assams that are bold but not astringent. I steep for 2 min to avoid bitterness. I drink it without milk or cream usually.
This wonderful China tea has a flavor similar to a golden Yunnan black tea. It has that great caramel-y taste that is smooth and bold. I enjoy golden Yunnans so this one is an excellent contender and highly recommended.
Enhancing my work morning with this nice assam black tea.
This tea isn’t listed on their web site store at this time but their walk-in shop had it and not in large quantity. At $8/oz it’s not your bargain tea but this grade of Keemun never is. When you find a really good Hao Ya “A” Keemun it is worth every penny. I frequent the Tea Zone in Portland and it’s been a while (years) since they last had this tea in. Not sure why. I was anxious to try this one but given my lack of ability to find a really good Keemun Hao Ya A I opted for just 1 oz. While this one is a mild version of a “good” one, it’s not top of my list. I still prefer what I get from another Portland tea shop, Tao Of Tea. They have the best I have found.
Got this wonderful tea in their walk-in shop, can’t find it online at their web site yet. I asked them for an oolong that has that nice “buttery” flavor. They brought out this variety. Smelling it didn’t provide assurance that it would have that flavoring but the owner assured me it would. I believed him since some teas don’t taste like their aroma in dry leaf form. I tried this last night and was very impressed with the results! It was fantastic! I steeped it twice and didn’t want any more before bed but I felt I could get another steeping so I did a 3rd steeping, wrapped the cup with plastic wrap and refrig’d it. I then heated it this evening in microwave and it was just as wonderful as last night. I got 3 steepings no problem and all were delicious. The leaf is in a tightly rolled ball and unfurls eventually into small to medium sized whole leaves. This is a beautiful tea and worth the $8/oz. I paid.
This afternoon’s after lunch tea is this hearty tippy assam with a nice malty flavor. Steeped 2 min. to help prevent bitterness.
Had this tea this morning. A nice malty strong assam. Steeped for 2 minutes to prevent bitterness.
This is a nice malty flavored tea and I enjoy it without milk. Made for a nice evening tea.
This is one of my all time favorites. This tippy Yunnan black tea has a wonderful flavor, not quite as strong as Emporer’s Gold from Tao of Tea but has plenty of good strong flavor. If you like Yunnan tea this is an excellent representative of tea from that region.
I wonderful 2nd flush darjeeling with the nice muscatel flavor. Enjoyed it this morning… late on the report.