184 Tasting Notes
What an extraordinary Assam. This is so wonderfully different, that I just checked the label to make sure I was drinking what I had intended to drink this morning! This tippy dry tea, which gave a gorgeous deep red/amber liquor, has just made my palate very happy. For me, malt is usually a heavier bottom-note in tea, that anchors the mid and top notes and give a solid base to the tea. Nokhroy Assam has an unusual maltiness that spreads through the cup, not just anchoring the base of the tea, but also gently joining with the mid note of peach to bring a smoothness and a baked biscuit note to the tea. The top note is a sensation of floral, but I can’t quite tell you if there is a floral note or if the peachy maltiness is causing a happy floral sensation in my mouth. Wow. There is some astringency present, but it is just enough to bring some magic to the teacup…and there is a lot of magic to be had here.
This is the kind of tea that makes me panic and order more immediately. Nokhroy Assam is one of the best assams I have had and though it is not currently in stock, Teabox assured me that they will have it in September. And that’s when my birthday is. Guess what I’m getting? :)
Flavors: Bread, Floral, Honey, Malt, Peach
We are having another strange day of weather in Southern California…Usually when I look at the fan in the window and see an 8 and a 6/9 (the fan sits in the window vertically, not horizontally) it means 89 degrees….today, with another strand of thunderstorms off to our west, it means a lovely 68 degrees!! ASSAM DAY!!!! Rhymes with YAAAAAAAAAY!
This selection from Teabox is a blend of second flush assams. Low in astringency at a 4 minute steep, this is a great malty cup. I’m not detecting any smoke (as the website states) but I am drinking the 2013 version of this blend…Teabox is currently selling their 2014 blend, so it might be different. There’s not a lot of complexity to this cup, just a honeyed maltiness. Simply, it’s just a nice assam for a ridiculously gorgeous August day in Southern California.
Assam Morning to you! It’s hotter than blazes out here, but my mouth wanted assam, so assam it gets! I reached into my box of samples from Teabox and I was the lucky winner today! This tea was black, tippy and wonderfully malty smelling in the packet….which turned into a gorgeous deep amber red liquor that smells malty and vaguely deeper…. my first sip was a glorious mouthful of malt, but not quite the usual malt note from assams….this is a TOASTY malt note!! What a brilliant surprise! The tea has a medium mouthfeel and is quite smooth. I steeped for 5 minutes, which is sometimes quite daring with assams when you don’t like astringency, but it all worked out beautifully with this Bokel. This would be a lovely cup to have on any given day…..but especially on a damp winter morning when you want a blanket in a cup. I hope Teabox will have this in stock again soon!
Flavors: Malt, Toasty
I currently LOVE this tea. As I drink it, there is a free “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….” with every sip. Smooth…. Earthy, yammy, chocolatey, raisiny, malty, grainy, stonefruity without any astringency at all. My current favorite accoutrement for this tea. Nilla Wafers. Happy me.
Quality Assurance check this morning…..just making sure that this tea is a good as I said it was when I drank it last week. I’m staring into the cup with disbelief, because it is as good as I said it was in my review….and it’s cheaper than other Yunnans, and it’s toasty nomilicious flavor makes me want to stuff my face in the cup and gulp…. my verdict stands. I really really like this tea. Good thing Yunnan Sourcing sends a 4 cup sample, as I still have 2 more to go and that makes me happy.
Flavors: Floral, Grain, Malt, Toast, Yams
I think I od’d on one of Yunnan Sourcing’s teas yesterday…you know when you steep too strong and drink too much? I was so overly saturated with the tea yesterday that I didn’t even write a review. So this morning when I reached into the tea cabinet, my hand went FAR away from the golden yunnans and found this…. a little forgotten treasure in my cupboard.
I love this tea’s subtlety. Especially today, after my overindulgence yesterday. The flavors are incredibly delicate, but still wonderfully identifiable… gentle chocolate and a touch of yam skin (nice earthiness) for the bottom notes…a delicate middle note combination of pecan and subtle malt and a top note of refined flowers. Sometimes, because of the slight earthiness and amazingly delicate flavors this tea holds, I get the feeling that this tea would almost like to be a keemun …. perhaps for Halloween only… lovely gentle notes make for a lovely gentle tea. Wonderful.
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Malt, Pecan, Yams
It’s hardest for me to review Assam teas. Since I lived in Ireland (30 years ago) I have been drinking breakfast blends consisting of Assam and Kenya teas (although previous to Steepster I don’t know if I could have even told you THAT much!), so when I taste them, they just taste “familiar” and nice. Notes are harder to pick out because of my familiarity with them. This morning I’m breaking into the Teabox samples again for a stout cup of tea. Doomni Assam was a perfect choice for this morning, as it’s freak like weather here in San Diego… 91% humidity and 80f at 10am. Pretty much like the weather where Doomni Estate tea grows! Tea cultural immersion without travel wasn’t on my agenda for this weekend, but hey, here we are! The tea:
Black twisty tippy leaves dry….wet, the lovely deep malt flavor prevails. On first sip, I get the overwhelming feeling of “aaaaaah…..familiar”. There is a wonderful maltiness and a touch of hoppiness (yay!) to this tea that creates a wholesome medium weight mouthfeel. Strangely, it is creamy, but has a touch of astringency to it, that makes you reach for your next sip. I am also finding a gentle top note of fruitiness that perhaps earlier in my tea explorations I would have missed. Hmmmm… this is a really nice Assam that I will consider ordering when the time comes to order from Teabox again!
Flavors: Hops, Malt
I am having the same issues with Yezi samples as I had with Butiki samples ages ago….I’m making weak tea. waaaaaaaaaah!! This time the victim was Jin Jun Mei. I didn’t even post about my attempt with Ming Hong, because I was so disappointed with the outcome. But I’ve decided to forge ahead with this review because I even though weak, I can still pick up on some fascinating business happening in this cup of tea.
Yes, it looks like a Yunnan…a dian hong perhaps… but this tea has a few notes that certainly separate it from that crowd. There is a smoothness to this tea that holds a touch of astringency, which is different from most of the Yunnans it resembles. Bottom notes of chocolate and sweet potato skin form a solid base for the woodsy grainy smoothness that sits in the middle of this tea’s flavor profile. Top notes are a touch of orchid and perhaps a touch of grape skin, which is where I’m getting the touch of astringency from. All these notes are very subtle in my cup (due to a bad steep) but they are there, creating a layered intricate tea with much to offer the person holding the cup. Even if they do mess it up….
Flavors: Grain, Grapes, Orchid, Sweet Potatoes, Wood