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Summer Vacation! I’m still going through my small collection of Indian teas, and I found another assam sampler floating around in my collection. While assams have never been my favorite, I figured I’d give it a go. It’s breakfast time, I have a new episode of Ducktales waiting on my Amazon account, a strong cuppa with some toast will do.

This tea was harvested in May of 2017 and I bought it last January, but my sampler has been sealed all this time, so hopefully it has kept fine. The dry leaf smells very much like a slightly peppery hay to me.

Color me wildly surprised that the aroma coming off this cup is actually quite sweet and fruity, not that heavy, bitter astringent malty scent that I’ve had from every other assam tea I’ve ever tasted. Mind. Blown. And this is why I’m willing to try any tea (banana teas and those containing my migraine triggers aside) at least once! I’m reminded of raisin bread and honey from the aroma. The taste is actually really smooth, with a much gentler maltiness, a more honeyed flavor, and a slight fruity/raisin taste on the finish. No bitterness or astringency to be had. This reminds me more of those smooth Chinese blacks with fruity/honeyed notes than anything even resembling an assam, and had it not been a sampler included in a tea sampling variety package I bought for the sake of getting to try a variety of things, I probably would’ve avoided it on the word “assam” alone. So I’m really happy I got to try this tea and am so surprised by it, as it is exactly to my tasting preferences!

When I made this cup, I had left plenty of room to add milk, expecting a bitter tannin overload and an astringency assault like I always get from assams. Normally I can never get a cuppa of assam down without adding milk, and often some honey as well. Absolutely no need with this, it is perfect as is!

Flavors: Bread, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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