How many of you order a tea one year, and love it so much you can’t wait for the new crop from the same garden next year? Last year I ordered this tea from Upton’s and they claimed, ‘Due to difficult growing conditions this year in India, this tea has a more intense flavor, which may be tamed with the addition of milk". I’m paraphrasing, but that was true. This year, I looked to Harney and Sons for my full leaf Assam. When I placed my order in Sept, the 2010 Nahorhabi Estate tea was the only top grade full leaf Assam they had, so I ordered it.
My first two cups were tasted on Sat, 10-22-11. I figured it might be less fresh because it was from last years crop. Man was I wrong! The tea was sealed in a foil bag & maintained its freshness. When I opened the bag and inhaled deeply……….BAMM, I was hit with this wonderful, malty, candy sweet Assam! My mouth literally started to water! I took a few minutes to take it all in. In addition, this tippy Assam possessed good chocolate notes as well. I reduced my steep times to 3.5 minutes to compensate for the claim above. After my tea cooled, the cups aroma came through. This medium brown hued cup smelled malty, chocolatey, with a truly natural sweetness. Definitely very malty, chocolate sweetness on the palate, with full, lingering flavor and yet very smooth. I’m not sure about honey notes. Sometimes I’ll add more tea to steeped leaves and resteep using same parameters. Here the tea is still malty, chocolatey and sweet, although more stout (but not bitter). To subdue some of the stoutness, sometimes I’ll add the smallest dash of skim milk, which brings a creaminess to the flavor, without sacrificing taste.
This tends to be my Saturday evening tea, which I’ve had each week since that first cup. I could drink this tea every day but I don’t, because I believe special teas like this one should be occasionally savored. I look forward to drinking this one every Saturday night! :))
Reviewed: Sunday, 11-20-11.