Tea of the Week for August 19: I cold-brewed this one overnight, and it is also really good. Usually, I am able to say right away which way a tea tastes better: hot-brewed & served hot or cold-brewed and served chilled. (Or even hot-brewed and served chilled.) I’m not able to do that with this tea because all three work really well, perhaps equally as well. They do taste a little different, of course, but they are all really good.
When it’s served hot, I get equal portions of the fig and the cheesecake and a tasty Assam background. What I really like about this particular Assam is that it is very smooth. When it’s hot-brewed, I don’t get astringency. Mind you, I’ve not oversteeped it, but what allows me to say that is that I thought I oversteeped it the first time I tried it (as an unflavored base) and it wasn’t bitter or even astringent. It didn’t feel dry on the palate at all. It just had a very rich, malty flavor. I was very impressed by it. This is why I recommend a 3 minute steep time (as opposed to my usual 2 1/2 minute recommendation) for this particular Assam tea, because it can withstand it without imparting a bitter bite or a hint of astringency.
When served hot, the fig and cheesecake have a very balanced taste to it. When served cold (after hot-brewing), I notice a bit more cheesecake than fig, but still both are prominent.
As I sip it now after cold-brewing it overnight, I find myself mentally comparing it to a milk bubble tea, but with fig rather than the usual taro I tend to favor from my local bubble tea place. The cheesecake flavor lends that sort of creaminess that I would taste from the milk bubble tea, but it’s a bit more tangy than the milk bubble tea. And I think that’s a good thing because I like that contrast. Granted, this isn’t a bubble tea (so please don’t interpret my comment that way), I just found my mind recalling my favorite bubble tea drink as I sip this – meaning that there is something about this that evokes those memories.
The base seems perfect for this combination of flavors. I really am pleased with this one.