Sampler Sunday! I got this tea from Meowster’s cupboard destash last summer, thanks Meowster! Assams don’t tend to be my favorite when it comes to blacks, so I just kept a sampler size of this and decided to put the rest in the Discovery Teabox since it was pretty flavored blend dominant and I wanted to try to get some more pure teas in there for folks. That said, I have had some assams surprise me before (India Assam Kanoka Hand-made Black from What-cha comes to mind!) so I’m looking forward to this sample.
I use my typical black tea brewing parameters, which are likely “lighter” than most folks: 2.5g for 350ml of water and a 3 minute steep. The cup was a deeply dark cup, and had an aroma of malt, burnt toast, and… mint? That can’t be right, but then, my sniffer is just a little stuffy first thing in the morning when I get out of bed… The flavor was quite bold, with a strong malty, baked bread/burnt toast flavor, and oddly enough I actually was picking up a subtle undertone of citrus and mint notes towards the end of the sip. (Have I just been drinking too much mint tea lately? I’ve never tasted a mint note in a black breakfast tea before…) Also just a hint of a pepper note on the back of the tongue as the sip is subsiding. There is a decent bit of astringency with this tea due to the robustness, so I get quite a bit of tongue-drying after the sip. It’s quite hearty and offers quite a bit of flavor even though it’s likely older leaf, and would make a good breakfast tea option, but blacks like this aren’t my personal preference. I’m debating if I want to add a little milk, or just take it like a champ, because despite the astringency, I do really like that subtle mintiness my tongue is picking up.
Edit: After reading about tea-sipper giving her infusers a bath, I went and sniff-tested my gravity well, and yup… minty! Welp, that mystery is solved! I’ve been trying for a week straight to sip down a chocomint rooibos with an utterly obnoxious super artificial, overly strong peppermint flavoring in it, and it must have left some flavor residue in my infuser. Most of the flavor was covered by the robustness of this tea, so I just tasted a “mint note” which didn’t have that artificial taste to it, and just tasted pleasantly minty. Heh. Well, now the infuser is getting a proper vinegar and baking soda bath. At least I enjoyed my cuppa regardless of the mistake?
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Burnt, Citrus, Drying, Malt, Mint, Pepper, Toast