Name: Organic Assam TGFOP
Brand: English Tea Store
Type: Black Tea
Form: Loose leaf
Review: While some organic teas are distinguished by being over-priced and of mediocre quality (yet easily marketed because they are labeled “organic”), The English Tea Store’s Organic Assam TFGOP is not one of them. In fact, it is to the English Tea Store’s credit that it sourced such a tasty, inexpensive tea. Like their Tarajulie Estate Assam, this is a smooth, balanced tea that does not require additives to taste good. While it is a touch pricier than the Tarajulie Estate tea, it is still a very good value. Even better, it is also quite delicious.
The wiry leaves are a blend of dark and milk chocolate brown with a nose of sweet malt and maybe a hint of tobacco. When infused, the malty nose is more obvious, though this is not a particularly fragrant tea. The liquor is medium-bodied and a very pretty deep amber.
This is a classic Assam, malty and a bit of tobacco in the finish. The astringency of the tea depends on the length of the steep, but it isn’t overwhelming even if allowed to steep for five minutes or more. What I like about this tea is that it is flavorful without clubbing you over the head. Quite lovely and heartening on a chilly, wet day.
Preparation Tips: One teaspoon of leaf to eight ounces of boiling water is a good measurement. Allow it to steep for about four minutes if you like a mellow, but flavorful cup, five minutes if you like a robust finish. A too-short infusion results in a flavorless tea, so make sure that you let it steep long enough.
Serving Suggestions: Unlike many Assams, this one doesn’t need milk or sugar. In fact, it’s mellow enough that I’d advise not using either. (Caveat: I don’t normally add anything to my tea anyway, so if you are a milk/sugar person, you may have a different opinion after sipping this tea.) Good with breakfast foods, sweets, and sipping on its own.
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