Mountain Malt

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Black Tea
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Bread, Malt, Metallic
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Edit tea info Last updated by Carolyn
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 17 oz / 500 ml

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35 Tasting Notes View all

From The Simple Leaf

Mountain Malt, from the Gingia tea estate, is one of our most popular breakfast teas. The leaves are tightly rolled (in India, leaves rolled in this way are called BPS – Broken Pekoe Souchong), and produce a robust, complex liquor that will entice even coffee lovers. While some may find Assam teas a little too strong for their taste, we think Mountain Malt displays just the right balance of strength and flavor. It has an abundance of that Assam malt flavor that makes the region so famous. Mountain Malt is best enjoyed plain (it produces a bright amber liquor as shown in the photos), or if you prefer,you can add a dash of milk and a little sweetener for a more chai-like experience. Enjoy hot or iced.

Origin: Gingia Estate / Assam, India

1 tsp. / 6oz cup
190 – 208° boiling water
3 minute infusion

About The Simple Leaf View company

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35 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

Delicious and in-vig-or-a-ting! Wheeee! I think it is called Mountain Malt because it is so strong that when you are finished your cup, you truly believe you have enough energy to climb a mountain ;) I love the bready malty flavor with the underlying earthiness. I really, really love the strength on days like today when I will be going, going, going til 9pm!

You may have noticed that I took the rating off of this tea. I have recently read a book about wine called Liquid Memory by Jonathan Nossiter. It has really made me think about a bunch of things, not just wine. One of them is numerical rating systems.

Warning! This is going to be long! :)

This is what he has to say:

Of course one has to distinguish between classifying wines – expressing hierarchies of preference – and scoring them. There is a profound difference between the admirably restrained critic Michael Broadbent’s purposefully malleable five star rating and a pseudo precise one hundred point scoring system. …These stars are explicitly variable and general and he insists that the expression of preference is dependent on the precise circumstances that the wine was tasted in …

… The numerical point system inherently implies a mathematical certainty, whether out of twenty or one hundred points. However absurd, this ersatz scientificity is perfectly suited to a culture uneasy with the notion of informed critical judgement coexisting with ambiguity and complexity. This culture prefers specious absolutes, an infantile and incomprehensible language for which no real engagement is required and a falsely pedaled sense of democracy, the fatuous reassurance of pseudo facts and factoids. This has been true from the dominant political discourse since Reagan, across the globe’s television screens, right into the computers of the self appointed custodians of our wine culture.

… Consumers all over the world have now become accustomed to seek out “Parker 95 wines” or “Wine Spectator 90s” no longer sure of, or necessarily interested in, the wine’s origins, makers, or contexts. Parker, the Wine Spectator, and other “serial scorers” reassure people who are insecure about wine but who want to be “winners.” … Hence, there is a gradual inflation of 90 point wines, as the Christie’s director said about the contemporary art world, to increase the supply of winners and keep everybody in the game renumerated. Imagine: Matisse! 95 points! Chagall 99 points! Jeff Koons 100 points! … But poor old dirty, messy, edgy George Rouault wouldn’t get above a 75. To assign numbers to a wine, given that a wine is fully living and infinitely mutable, is almost as repugnant to me as assigning numerical worth to humans. (pgs 148-9)

You get the idea. Long story short – I’ve always been uneasy about my numerical ratings, and after reading this book I want to get rid of them! I am going to stop giving numerical ratings to teas, and as I drink teas that I have logged before, I am going to delete my numerical ratings.

I was debating putting this up in discussions, but I was afraid it may cause a ruckus – which is not my intent. I simply want to explain why I personally am not doing numerical ratings anymore. I’m going to link to this tea log in my profile so my explanation will be “public.”

I highly recommend this book, and Nossiter’s film Mondovino if you are interested in not only wine, but globalization, taste, culture, art…

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I agree with you. The ratings that I give aren’t even really systematic in any way, it just happens to be how I feel about a tea at the time of consumption. I don’t even give much merit into the numeric ratings of other people of these teas, I read the notes and that influences me far more than the numeric rating.


Pfft, your wine guy is so behind the times, video gamers have been having this discussion for AGES. I agree that people rely on numbers a bit too much – that goes for wine, video games, movies, whatever. That said, I think numerical ratings do have their uses: 1. they make things easy for beginners: if I know jack-all about wine, but I don’t want to embarrass myself when taking a bottle to a friend’s house, then yes, a numerical score can be a pretty handy starting point.
2. They can be a useful comparative tool if understood within the context of a reviewers entire body of work. This doesn’t work as well with wine, but say on Steepster or on a video game site/magazine/whatever. If you get to know the reviewer’s tastes, you can figure out what they mean when they give a certain score and measure that against your own tastes. Of course, that requires both paying attention to actual written reviews and treating reviewers as individuals with different tastes, which I think are the REAL problems.
On the other other hand, I almost never look at the number scores on Steepster unless they are low (because then they are orange!)
Anyway, just my two cents! You realize that you are just going to get a ruckus in your comments instead of in discussions :P


Ewa – I’m glad for the mini ruckus in comments :) I didn’t want to come off like I was challenging the way The Overlords built Steepster, esp since they built it so that you could not assign a rating and delete ratings. I think Steepster is great to allow maximum user freedom.

Again to go back to wine talk, we have a local shop which is pretty amazing. They have a little essay about the store and they say that they won’t tell you that they will help you demystify wine drinking, but they can help you explore the mystery. That’s how I feel about tea too :) For me personally, number ratings are not helping explore the mystery, but serve to try and pseudo break down/categorize/put in a little box the mystery. And I rather not :)

That’s really interesting – I had no idea this debate goes on in the gaming world too!! Neat! It’s also something I think a lot about as I get ready to be a teacher – the grading bugaboo. Oh dear.


When I go to Physical Therapy, they ask me to rate my pain on a scale of one to ten. They should ask me what tea I had that morning. Queen Catherine (she soothes me when I hurt) means I was at a four, Supreme Breakfast is a three, and English Breakfast means I am not hurting at all! Do you think they will go for my new system?


ashmanra – I have a package all ready for you – going to the post office today on my lunch break :) HOPING that will mean lots of zeros and ones at PT! :) :) :) I’m not sure if PT will go for your new system but I will use my secret retired international spy powers to try and convince them. Don’t be surprised if they ask what tea you had the next time you go in for a session ;)


Yeah, the whole “score inflation” problem is huge in video game reviews. Most sites have adopted the 7-9 scale, no games get below a seven, just because review sites want to keep getting free review copies…

I have to wonder if this isn’t actually a direct result of the grading bugaboo (I like this term and will use it forever). Any(American)one who has gone through the public school system is basically conditioned to perceive numbers below 70 as “failing.” Which is silly, because there are MORE numbers below 70 than above and if they are all useless then what is the point of them except to make people feel really really stupid.


I agree with pretty much all of this. Aside from the problems with the way averages are gotten…palates are different and they change with time, the more experiences one has. Tastes drift.

I think this is why my rating system has always just been personal — i.e., my probability of drinking something or having it in my cupboard, not its actual quality.

And even that changes. I’ve redone the numbers many times!

Paul M Tracy

I agree too. I’ve only been here a short time, but I’ve already noticed that all of my numeric ratings are “clumped.” I have a few really high ones, then the rest are around 80-ish then a few really gross teas are at the bottom. A simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down might be better.


I also have changed a lot since I started drinking tea. Some I steeped all wrong and they wre bitter. I used to put sugar in everything and milk in most. When you change those habits, your ratings change….A LOT! So I agree – they can be very misleading.


From now on I’m going to comment on your tasting logs with a number. This number will represent what your rating would have been :D

I’d say you’d give this one a 90. If you don’t agree feel free to correct me =]



(you are pretty much correct! I remember I rated it a 100, but that could have been the caffeine talkin’)


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Ricky, you crack me up.


Glad I could bring some laughter into your day =D

Jacqueline, I’m going to rate all your logs! You just wait! Steepster shall not be deprived of your ratings.

jenny wren

I’ve only posted 3 ratings so far, but on the first one I tried to give it a rating, and by the second one decided it was silly for me. Something like the way tea tastes is too complex for me to try to pin down with a number.


Sorry for the late comment – just saw this post. I am glad that Steepster is versatile enough to accommodate you, JacquelineM! I am still posting numbers but like a comment above intimated, it is pretty subjective. I still love to read your blurbs/posts about the various teas so I am glad I am not deprived of your opinions!

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429 tasting notes

This tea is just fantastic, the biscuit smell just makes my mouth water. The broken rolled leaves unfurl and steep into a bright amber tea. Its brisk, robust, and malty without being bitter but has the astringency of a very good assam tea. I’m trying to talk my wife into letting me buy a pound next time as my one ounce sample isn’t lasting very long.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Yer killin’ me!!! Mmmmmmm!!!!!


It has to be love when you commit to a whole pound!




I couldn’t take it any more and ordered 4 oz of Mountain Malt along w 1 oz each of Tankha, Maharani, and Chloe. I love the Simple Leaf!!!!

SoccerMom Dan, You are about to make me place another Simple Leaf order too! My husband won’t be amused.

I think I best hide :)


LOL he won’t be mad at you but at me!!


Biscuit and malt and bitter-less? I have to get this!


@Stephanie: As long as you do not over steep, I only steep this tea for 3 minutes.


Yes, I thought it was impossible at first but MM can be bitter if you overdo it. I have had several perfect cups, though, so you just have to pay attention.

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328 tasting notes

I have lots of mint around my yard and some of it is looking stringy. My husband is begging me to get rid of it soo, mint iced tea is in order…. So, after experimenting, mountain malt turns out to be an excellent pair for the mint. The mountain malt, a bold and strong assam, is a perfect counter-point to the medicinal flavor of the fresh mint.


We have tried to grow peppermint from seed unsuccessfully an embarrassing number of summers in a row, so when I found a healthy pre-potted plant at a farmer’s market yesterday, I brought her home and named her Patty. Hoping she’ll yield lots of good tea flavoring soon!


From seed? I would be too impatient for that!


So are we, I guess! We’re on Day 3 and haven’t killed it yet … a good sign, I hope!

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310 tasting notes

I love love love this tea. I love it so much that I think I am going to give up 1 of my 2 cups of coffee in the morning in favor of this so that I can drink it everyday. I love it more than Dawn tea. Dawn had this earthy/peaty flavor that I associate with manure (despite that, I still liked Dawn). This tea does not have as much of that flavor.

This tea is strong and bold but not bitter. It has a mild astringency to it that is not overwhelming. And it’s definitely malty. It’s a very well balanced tea.

I drank it first with just sugar and loved it. I decided that it could mellow just a bit so I added the world’s tiniest drop of soy creamer to it and that completed the balancing act. This is my favorite black tea. Did I mention that I love it?

The leaves in the package are small tight balls. Once brewed they open up to large leaves.

Brewed at boiling (for me at 195-197 F) for 3 min.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I should have popped the sample of this into my order! I could kick myself!


I really like their sample sizes. Their sample sizes are the amount of tea I’d actually like to order. I sadly ordered a larger bag of the Dawn and a sample of this. Would have been happier with sample sizes of both.

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2917 tasting notes

Surprise to me! Had a little bit of this left that had woodged down to the bottom of my “loose ends” packet. First sip just after steeping made me wonder if it’d lost its oomph, but it strengthened considerably after driving with me this morning.

Dark, just on the edge of a bitter bite, and a little grapey on the finish. Sticks to your tongue long after you’ve swallowed.

Here’s to “oh, I forgot I had that!” serendipi-tea.

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59 tasting notes

Oh, this is a top tier Assam, for sure. Prepared as on the packet (1 tsp per 6 oz water, 3 min steep time) and taken with a bit of milk and sugar, it’s very smooth and not harsh at all. It has a rich mouthfeel and a rounded, robust flavor. As you’d expect, it’s quite malty, but there’s more than just that going on. I’m having a little trouble placing what exactly the more subtle flavors were – maybe some carrots – but my girlfriend said that she tasted some jasmine. She agreed that the tea tasted special; normally she prefers Chinese teas, but she really liked this one. This cup was a tiny bit weaker than I’d like, so I’ll let it steep another 30 seconds next time.

The funny thing about this tea is the aroma of the dry leaves – there’s surprisingly little! Most of the looseleaf teas I get sock me in the face when I open the packet, but not this one. It’s mild and pleasant. This is one of the few teas where the flavor beats out the smell of the leaves.

Overall this is one of the best Assams I’ve had, and probably top-5 among all black teas. It is a very satisfying tea.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

2 hours later… this one seems to have quite a bit of caffeine. 1 am already? Good lord.

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236 tasting notes

Another single-sourced tea from The Simple Leaf, this one brews into a fragrant floral and musky liquor without much bitterness. It is really an excellent assam tea. I can’t really identify the notes, but it combines into a wonderful taste. It is supposedly malty, which is why I bought it. I’d hoped to learn what a malty taste was. But I can’t really find the malt well enough to educate my palate. Either way, it is a stellar morning tea.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Madison Bartholemew

I don’t really get the malt taste concept either… but I think it is if a tea feels like guiness in your mouth…
I think…


If you really want to know what malt tastes like you could try Whoppers or other malted milk balls. You should be able to identify the chocolate and what’s left is malt.

shudder I hate malt. I can’t drink any beer because of malt.

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3263 tasting notes

Many thanks to Doulton for sending me this tea! I had some Simple Leaf teas on my wish list and before I could order, they closed. Oh the frustration of reading about an amazing tea and then finding that you can never ever have any!

Thanks to Doulton I will get to try a Simple Leaf tea!

I sniffed the dry leaves when I opened the pouch. There was not much aroma to the dry leaf, but they were very interesting leaves, pleasantly twisted and curled. The tea itself has a nice malty aroma. Malt smells like puppy feet to me, a scent I love! This is a light malt aroma, not too strong.

The tea tastes very good. I have had a few Assams that smack me in the face, especially CTC ones. This is a very civilized breakfast cup, slightly astringent but pleasantly so, flavorful enough to blast through the groggies, and smooth enough not to offend my delicate tummy.

I can’t wait to see how youngest likes it when she gets home from her slumber party with Sandy’s dogs, who have now seen every sci-fi movie made. She loves Irish breakfast teas, so I think this one will be right up her alley.

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368 tasting notes

This is another sample from Kristin, for which I am grateful. :-)

I do not drink a lot of black tea, much less very many breakfast blends. So I can’t do too much with this tea comparatively. I can say that after the 3 minute steep, this cup is on the brink of being just a bit too astringent ~ but not quite. It is a big, bold, wake you up cup of tea, which as far as I understand it, is what breakfast blends are all about.

If nothing else, it goes perfectly with today’s dreary weather.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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69 tasting notes

Brews up a medium orange color. Aroma of fresh biscuits. Robust mouth feel is almost chewy. Solid malty taste with a fruity sweet finish like grapes. Moderate astringency that is not overpowering.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I’ve been meaning to try this one for a while. I’m pretty excited!


I like something bold and straight forward in the morning and Mountain Malt did the trick. It is not as fine a tea as Dawn, but it is very good.

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