It’s Saturday and I’m still cleaning out the backlog. I finished the last of a sample pouch of this tea yesterday morning and I’m just now getting around to posting a review. For whatever reason, I could not motivate myself to do anything after getting home from work yesterday. Anyway, this was a nice CTC Assam. If you are the sort of person who enjoys strong, malty breakfast teas, this one should be right up your alley.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 212 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions. Just to be clear, you do not have to steep this tea that long. I prefer CTC teas to be very rich, brisk, tannic, and astringent, so I utilize a longer infusion. One can still get good results out of a 3-4 minute infusion with this tea.
Prior to the infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted a mildly malty aroma. After infusion, I picked up aromas of brown toast, malt, caramel, leather, molasses, and nuts. In the mouth, the tea liquor was lively and astringent, offering robust notes of caramel, molasses, leather, wood, black walnut, hickory, brown toast, cream, and malt underscored by hints of dark chocolate and brown sugar. The finish offered a swell of malt, cream, toast, caramel, and molasses.
In a separate session, I also tried this tea with a little 2% milk added. It completely transformed. The liquor remained strong, but the astringency all but disappeared. The tea’s woodier, toastier, nuttier qualities took a backseat while the caramel, brown sugar, molasses, cream, dark chocolate, and malt came forward.
I greatly enjoyed this CTC Assam. If you have had teas of this type before, this one will likely not surprise you in any way. For what it is, however, it is very nice. As a breakfast tea, it really hit the spot.
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Toast, Caramel, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Nutty, Tannic, Walnut, Wood