As of 11 March 2014, my humans and I are no longer accepting tea samples. Too many tea companies focus on politics instead of tea and are often supporting things that we find injurious. We are now switching to a more information focused blog, telling you not just about the teas we are steeping but about the people and places responsible for them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review: Two Leaves and a Bud’s Assam Tea

The Subject: Assam tea from Two Leaves and a Bud.

Rating:

Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes

Tea type: Black Assam
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Nothing added
Aroma, dry: Fresh, planty, but unfortunately retains overwhelming cinnamon scent from the Mountain High Chai sample that it was shipped with
Aroma in the cup, plain: Cinnamon gone, fortunately, so black tea evident with only hint of maltiness
Taste, plain: Cinnamon gone, fortunately, so black tea evident with only hint of maltiness, bitterness becomes more evident as tea cools
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Cinnamon gone, black tea scent strong, no maltiness
Taste, enhanced: Milk and sweetener added, mellows flavor and blocks out bitterness, malty flavor brought out more

2nd Infusion: Not recommended, light color and strongly bitter (if you only steep 3 minutes for the 1st infusion, this 2nd one might be better)

Chilled: Didn’t try but my guess is that it would be fine, especially sweetened or with lemon

Comments:
Assam is one of my favorites. I buy it locally at Indian markets. So, how does this Two Leaves and a Bud version compare with plain old Assam? Is the taste much better, like clear mountain air versus smoggy city air?

Actually, after doing a bit of research on Assam, hubby and I had a better appreciation for this one.

Unlike the Assam I am used to, the maltiness for which Assams are well-known is much more subtle in this one. Too bad, since that is one of the best aspects of Assam for me. Despite this lack, the tea is very tasty and very Assamish. We relished every mouthful of the enhanced version.

One recommendation for Two Leaves and a Bud:
Find something airtight in which to package your teas. Those clear plastic bags (a far cry from Adagio’s cute little tea tins and The English Tea Store’s airtight pouches) don’t block strong scents from coming through. Even when I put each of your teas into a separate plastic bag, the scent came through loud and clear. The concern was having the other teas take on those flavors and scents. Your Mountain High Chai with its overly strong cinnamon scent was the culprit in this case, spreading that scent through this delicate Assam.

You have great teas, even the organic ones, so show them some respect by packaging them in something that will preserve their scents and flavors and keep out “wandering” scents.

Disclaimer: The teas reviewed here were provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are strictly objective.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, I really hate it when a sample smells up the whole package. Glad you spoke out.

    ReplyDelete

Trust the Teapot

Tea vendors: We give your teas a fair review always!
Tea drinkers: No pulling punches here. You see the good and the bad!