Mmmm it was an Assam kinda morning for me. I stayed up late reliving my adolescence watching all of the “Monster of the Week” X-Files eps I could remember on Netflix. Fun times. I love that looking back I discover almost all of my faves were Vince Gilligan-written, surprise surprise. And it made me smile that “Pusher”, which he wrote and has stuck with me for over a decade, actually feels very proto-BBish in ways (the opening scene, Pusher’s speeches).
This smells so good steeping! That satisfying “TEA!” aroma (legacy teas, for me primordial ironically enough), but with a citrusy freshness too. And yeah, I must admit it smells quite a bit like the Dunhill International Superior Milds, the ones in the gorgeous blue box that Elizabeth David pointed to to indicate the color she wanted her enameled cookware to be, back when they still made those. That might sound gross but it’s a high compliment—there was never a more deliciously fresh, grassy-in-a-good-way tobacco. So yes, tobacco, but really really good tobacco, not the musty old man library stuff. I appreciate that this is real Assam, strong tasting, but completely lacks the harshness many Assams have. There’s a wonderful bitterness at the end of each sip, but it’s relatively soft for an Assam and complements the clean mild astringency at the front, with its vague fruit and flowers thing.
I could be wrong but in a way I think I like this more than Andrews and Dunham Tiger Assam. This seems more complex to me, as if it’s perfumed without actually smelling of perfume, if that makes any sense. To me, Tiger Assam is kinda like Double Knit Blend (only not quite as smooth and comforting), something when you just want to taste old skool TEA without puckering and not think much about it but be rewarded anyway. This is more like, sit undistracted and fall down the rabbit hole of your tea cup with all the senses you’re stimulating. Really gorgeous and not the sort of experience I tend to associate with Assams.