After being scolded for using boiling water on a high-quality Assam, I am moving down to 195 degrees. Let’s see how it works!
The dry leaves are not just broken, but ripped. Lots of little pieces, but not dust like fannings, just small pieces. They are a nice dark brown, with lovely golden tips scattered throughout. Very pretty. They smell faintly of cooked peaches and berries. The wet leaves smell of your standard damp tea, with the barest, faintest touch of an indiscernible fruit.
The liquor is a deep, brownish copper, and gives off even less of a scent than the leaves. This is a remarkably smell-less tea for some reason.
It’s a quite smooth taste, almost more like a Chinese black than an Assam. It really doesn’t need any milk or sugar, which I normally use for my Indian blacks. It’s got a smooth start, almost slightly metallic, with a tiny bit of astringency in the middle tones, finished by that cooked-peach flavor. The aftertaste is smooth and buttery, with only a touch of the astringency following through. It’s got nice, full body.
This is a lovely tea. I would recommend it for those with a bit more experience in the tea world, because it is very, very subtle.
With a little milk, just for fun: the milk brings out softer notes of honey, completely removing the astringent pucker and helping me to find the earthy, malty, chocolaty Assam flavors I know and love so well.