For the past week I have been focusing on sipping down teas of which I had purchased a larger amount. I think that will remain my focus throughout February, perhaps March as well. I bought an ounce of this tea either late last spring or early last summer, put it in storage, and promptly forgot about it. I think my original intention was to spend the fall focusing on Assams, but I ended up changing plans by August. That led to me just getting around to this one late last week. I found it to be a very smooth, mild Assam. Its mellow character may have been a result of the tea fading in storage, or it could have just been the natural character of the tea. I’m honestly not sure which was the case.
I prepared this tea using a simple one step Western infusion process. Though Simpson & Vail recommended a steep time of 3 minutes, I prefer my Assam strong, so I steeped a teaspoon of loose leaves in 212 F water for a full 5 minutes.
After infusion, the dark copper tea liquor produced mild aromas of malt, toast, straw, cream, and roasted nuts. In the mouth, I picked up a delicate mix of toast, cream, orange, malt, cocoa, straw, leather, nutmeg, and roasted almonds. The finish was smooth and rich, offering lingering impressions of malt, nutmeg, and roasted almonds.
While this was not the most robustly flavorful Assam I have ever tried, I found its layering of flavors and rich malty character rewarding. I have noticed that the other organic Assams I have tried from Simpson & Vail have tended to be mild in both aroma and flavor, so I am not entirely certain the tea had faded all that much, though that remains a possibility. As is, I would not hesitate to recommend this tea to anyone looking for an approachable, basic, all-purpose Assam.
Flavors: Almond, Cocoa, Cream, Leather, Malt, Nutmeg, Orange, Straw, Toast