Thee van Sander / Thee aan ZeeEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This Assam is a little different than I’m used to. It has a great red color and is thick, full, malty and smooth. But aromatically it doesn’t really have the sweet, broad and mild fruitiness that I associate with most good Assams; flavorwise it seems drier, much more leathery or even almost earthy and not so crisp, brisk and lively. The dry leaves smell weirdly chemical, like gasoline or paint. It’s not my personal favorite.
Unlike the wintery cure-for-all thick woolly blanket that is Liu Bao and / or Golden Flowers, this tea is more akin to drinking a raspberry lemonade out in a log cabin, which I suppose is an all-season form of entertainment. Wet leaf aroma is that of a young, peppery pipe tobacco, while the taste is exactly that of a cinnamon lychee (which, yes, is a thing, yes).
The 2006 edition not having much in the way of fermentation flavour, black tea (hongcha) serves best for a reference. The spice aspect made me wonder if this tea embodies what Assam should really taste like, but I lack data at that point. In actual fact An Hui is geographically related to Qimen / Keemun, which I suppose should have been a pointer for the familiar fruity black-tea aspects instead.
Qi-wise I gambled I’d be looking at a gentle evening tea, and indeed I suppose it won’t keep me from sleeping tonight. The tea is actually compressed together but not too tightly, so as it didn’t expand as much as a I had expected, I under-pitched a bit (even for my standards).
Had a decent little piece of bamboo leaf in it though – Sander in his video establishes that this mellows out bitters, so maybe it would have been a bit less civil without. At any rate, I’m glad of having access to this tea.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Lychee, Spices
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