Jay Shree Tea and Industries Ltd which owns the Meleng Tea Estate describes this as a strong and sparkling tea. Having tried this steeped a couple of ways I can agree with this. I can get a delicious cup using only 1 sugar spoon worth of tea (@1.5g ) steeped for only 2.5minutes.
This tea has mid-sized wide dark blades with a very liberal scattering of saffron to gold coloured tips. The dry leaf smells if the sharp upper tones of malt and cocoa.
Once steeped the tea is an orangish red that is approaching the red tone of a Keemun.
The steeped tea smells of currants, barley mash, malt, hints of spicy floral, honey, and hot lemon.
I found that using more leaf and longer steeping times emphasised the tart fruit and malt notes of this tea. Using less leaf and shorter timings resulted in a sweeter and more balanced cup.
1.5 sugar spoons:
@3min.Smooth yet tart, upper tones of malt with the deeper tones underneath supporting the tea. Honey, currants, tart red fruit, grainy notes underneath, hints of cracked wheat, hints of orange and spicy floral notes. Honey and deeper tones become more apparent as it cools with plum and orange mixed with deeper tones of malt and a hint of blackcurrant and cocoa.
2nd steep sweeter and spicier with hints of lemon, cherry, along with more apparent deeper malt tones. The flavour is more rounded and balanced. . Mild to medium astringency. A bright, tart tea.
3rd steep 4 min. Similar to second and still very potent with a bit more cocoa and honey. This tea could easily yield another steep.
1 sugar spoon:
Using less leaf and a shorter steep time ( 2.5 minutes) resulted in a less tart and more balanced cup with the base elements more apparent in the flavour and a hint of yam. The natural sweetness of this tea is also note apparent with the cocoa mixing with honey and the floral notes in away that reminds me of some Keemun.
The astringency in this tea does create a texture that may come off as sparkling to some palates or as woodiness to others.
Altogether this is a bright and fruity and spicy Assam with a sweetness lying underneath. It is a very resilient and well made cup.