My second sample sipdown of the day, this was an incredibly interesting, challenging Assam. When What-Cha described it as atypical, they were telling the truth. Despite its uniqueness, it did, however, maintain approachability while displaying an immediate appeal.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 3-4 grams of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of spice, orchard fruits, honey, and malt. After infusion, the aforementioned aromas intensified and were joined by subtle scents of cream and caramel. In the mouth, fairly robust notes of malt, honey, cinnamon, ginger, clove, red apple, and pear gradually faded and revealed delicate hints of sweet orange, cream, steamed milk, golden raisin, and toffee. The finish was smooth, silky, and unbelievably mellow with lingering cream, malt, citrus, spice, and orchard fruit impressions evident.

I will concede that I was not expecting this kind of experience from an Assam, but man, am I glad I purchased this tea. This reminded me of the Azerbaijani and Georgian black teas What-Cha offers. I admire those teas, and to me, this was like a fruitier, spicier version of them. If you are looking for a unique black tea and/or want proof that an Assam can be thrilling, step up and give this tea a shot.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Clove, Cream, Ginger, Honey, Malt, Milk, Orange, Pear, Raisins, Toffee

5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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