Holy cats. This is one awesome Assam. Caramely and malty. Yeah, this will have to be purchased. The question will be if I can wait until going there in person next May/June or if I will have to order it before then. :)
Thanks for sharing, Sil!
“Damn you Terri! No orders until June! WANT! MOAR! NAO! Holy hannibel, i had this in the morning and let me tell you, i have a single normal person cup's worth left and it might just be...” Read full tasting note
“*My 1000th Posting on Steepster!* I really felt that I had to pick something especially good to celebrate, but I've got about 300+ teas here now, & I love so many of them. I thought about going...” Read full tasting note
“Okay, I decided to try it again this morning at 3 minutes 30 seconds… it is a delightful assam. Malty and very rich, an excellent breakfast tea. There is something floral about it, but the finish...” Read full tasting note
“I'm finishing off the last that I had of this tea in my stash, it is one that will be missed. One of the nicest Assam teas I've had. Lovely, rich, malty ... caramel-y. YUMMMM!” Read full tasting note
The legendary breakfast tea from the upper Assam valley of India. Full-flavored, rich and chewy with notes of caramel and malt, this tea is bright and coppery in the cup and makes a great wake-up any time of day.
Company description not available.
Assam Mangalam FTGFOP1 (CL/SP) (No. 264)SpecialTeas
Limited No. 49, Yunnan Golden BudsBellocq Tea Atelier
TD54: Jungpana Estate FTGFOP1 Second Flush (DJ-49)Upton Tea Imports
Assam FTGFOP1Seven Teas
No. 71 Darjeeling Chamong FTGFOP1Steven Smith Teamaker
Assam TGFOP, No. 30Harrods
It’s bitter and I don’t want to drown it in milk and sugar. Tried diff parameters. At Steven Smith the lady suggested to make it 12 oz water 1tsp 5min steep. Bitterness decreased but it was kinda diluted not enough flavor. I prefer H&S Nahorhabi Full leaf Assam
This is another one of those things I have been holding on to forever, but I wanted something robust and tasty to have at midnight so I didn’t fall asleep on my paper. Surprisingly this was REALLY good despite being old and in a zippered plastic bag.
So. Much. Caramel. Very malty too but in that ice cream malt kind of way. I noticed Whole Foods has some Stephen Smith tea, but in sachets, but I think I may have to try more anyway and that’s an easy way!
Another sample from Anne from LiberTeas (still working my way through this box).
I’ll start off by saying that I chose this tea because I needed something to really get me motivated to get my cleaning for the day done. I’m on vacation from work and wanted to really enjoy the rest of the week in a nice clean apartment. The only problem – I woke up this morning feeling extremely lazy…so I brewed up a nice hot cup of this black tea for a little inspiration as I sat lazily watching TV.
That’s where things get kind of crazy. I ended up spilling the entire fresh cup all over the coffee table. After hastily throwing everything on the floor to avoid the tea flood that was coming its way and wiping up most of the liquid, I looked down into my now empty mug of inspiration. Boo. Good thing I saved the leaves…I’ll just resteep it. Put some hot water in my mug, dropped the tea ball in, grabbed more rags and some cleaner and started cleaning the rest of the mess up. After getting the table wiped down and everything back in its place, I noticed some of the tea had spilt on the carpet so I got my carpet cleaner and started cleaning that up too.
Ah…nice clean coffee table. Okay. Now I’m cleaning and the coffee table looks so good…better just continue on so into the dining room I went. After cleaning up in there I was really going so I decided to continue onto kitchen.
There it was. My second steeping cup of tea…with the teaball still in it. Yup. Definitely oversteeped this one.
So long story short, I ruined both cups of tea and didn’t even get to enjoy any of it. Not even a good sip. BUT – I did however get all of my cleaning done for the day which was exactly what I was hoping from the tea this morning. So in a way I guess this tea did do exactly what I was hoping for. I just wish I’d have been able to enjoy a little of it.
Time to dump the leaves and try again….wish me luck! (I’ll have to reserve my rating until I actually taste it)
I’m very pleased to present a multi-morning review of No. 49 Assam FTGFOP1 from Steven Smith Teamaker, Western style without sweeteners, milk, or cream.
After placing my order, I saw that boychik cautioned 7 months ago that the recent batch of this tea maybe on the bitter side: http://steepster.com/boychik/posts/211831#comments. I then began to wonder … Does this Assam have a consistent taste profile from year to year? … Should I have blindly ordered 4 oz.?
For best flavor, bring freshly drawn filtered water to a boil. Steep five minutes. A good time to practice the sitar.”
Note: The incomplete instructions do NOT specify how much tea or water. Is one supposed to assume 1 tsp. (level, rounded, heaping?) and a 6 oz. teacup, an 8 oz. cup, or something larger?
Given boychik’s warning and the incomplete brewing instructions, I was now less certain how much I would enjoy this Assam.
Leaf: Thin twisted dark chocolate-brown leaves 1.5 cm long or less with many golden tips.
Fragrance: Rich high-quality pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear brilliant copper
Aroma: Malt, caramel & sweet potato – ah!
Flavor: Malt, caramel, honey
1 tsp. (2.6 g) / 8 oz. / 212F / 5 min:
Aroma: Robust and malty.
This is a smooth, rich, malty and satisfying Assam. However, the malty flavor overshadowed any hint of caramel and there was woodiness at the end of the sip.
Having not yet achieved the same results as LiberTeas, I then looked at previous tasting notes for this Assam and tried the following brewing recommendations:
Scribbles: 1 tsp. (2.6g) / 8 oz. / “just off boiling” (I used 208F) / 5 min:
To my taste buds, the bold malty Assam still overshadows the caramel. Near the bottom of the cool cup, the sweet caramel was more obvious. There was a dry finish with some astringency near the front of my tongue. Fortunately, the woodiness was no longer present with the lower temperature.
6 & 7-min. – not yet. 8-min – ? 10-min. produced a light-bodied cup with a similar flavor profile.
Nicole: 1.5 tsp. (3.5 g) / 10 oz. / 205F / 2.5 min:
Aroma: Malt with hints of both caramel & sweet potato – ah!
This preparation provided a bold, rich, and malty with a definite caramel sweetness and a dry finish. The cup was very invigorating.
Terri HarpLady: 1 tsp. (2.6g) / 8 oz. / 212F / 3-4 min:
3 min. produced a rich, smooth, full-bodied malty Assam with a yummy caramel sweetness. There was no hint of bitterness and minimal astringency. As the cup cools there is a honey-like sweetness. Very satisfying! Now we’re talking!! Terri’s experience reviewing this tea 12 times truly paid off!
Resteep: Not recommended.
Impression: I’m very pleased to have finally found exactly what LiberTEAS so accurately described in her tasting note. No. 49 is apparently consistent and definitely Carmalicious!
Thanks to all who contributed detailed brewing tips in their tasting notes or the comments of the No. 49 Assam FTGFOP1 thread. Your guidance was very helpful for this tea especially given the incomplete brewing instructions.
Recommendation Not having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” would be very helpful and greatly appreciated. Having to do so is very inefficient, wastes valuable tea, and IMHO impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration. In retrospect, it’s a very good thing that I ordered 4 ounces!
My favorite tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea every year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.
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/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer (for 212F brewing)
Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Malt
I decided to kick start my day with a cup of this malty caramelly deliciousness. I haven’t been wanting assams very much lately, and I have quite a few of them to get through. I think once I finish up the last of my assam I’ll leave them out of cupboard for a while. I find sometimes they are a little too much for me.
This morning, however, this one hit the spot. I can’t believe how much caramel is present. If I added sugar, it would probably come across as a little syrupy. I found some floral, but more in the aroma than in taste, and it went away after a while. Or maybe I just got used to the aroma.
The first steep I let go for 5 minutes. I thought it would be too long, but it turned into a quite a flavourful cup. After such a long first steep I wondered if I would get a second steep out of it, but it was just as delicious. I kinda forgot about it, and steeped longer than 5 minutes. I noticed some bitterness in the second steep as the cup cooled, but I kind of expected that.
Gratitude and thanks to looseTman for providing the sample.
Thanks to boychik for the sample! Brewed it western style. First steep was with water just off the boil for 3 minutes. I prefer my teas plain without milk or sweetener. This steep was bitter but not entirely unpleasant, with some sweetness and fruitiness (as best as my palate can make out) as the cup cooled. I tried the next two steeps at 195F (3:30 and 5:00 minutes) and enjoyed them more since the bitterness was gone and the sweet/fruit aspect was more pronounced. Next time I will try 195F for the first steep to see if it reduces or eliminates the bitterness there as well. Overall a very nice Assam, more complex than the one in my cupboard from Upton.