Tea Name: Assam TGFOP
Tea Type: Black tea from the Assam area of India
Assam tea is made from a varietal of the tea plant called Camellia Sinensis assamica and is grown in the Assam state in northeast India where the Brahmaputra River flows. The Indian people had cultivated this plant for centuries before the British, desperate to get away from China’s stranglehold on the tea trade, “discovered” it. The locals often drink the CTC versions that are of a lower grade and add masala (a mix of spices) and milk and sugar to the brew. (“CTC” means “cut tear curl” or “crush tear curl” depending on who is describing it; it refers to the process the leaves endure while going through the machinery used to turn them from green off the bush to dark brown ready for steeping. These are not necessarily lower grade teas, though.)
As for the “TGFOP” designation, that is part of a grading system often attributed to the Duke of Orange in the Netherlands. This designation stands for “Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe.” (See What’s All This “Orange Pekoe” Stuff Mean? for more information on this rating system.)
So, does this tea live up to its rating designation?
A couple of teaspoons of tea leaves (broken leaf pieces with a wonderful malty/jammy aroma) in the pot. A couple of cups (16 ounces) of boiled water. Five minutes ticking by on the clock. Ding! Time to see what we have here.
The liquid streamed out a beautiful reddish brown. The aroma had that true Assam maltiness combined with a wonderful nuttiness. The first sip definitely did not disappoint. One thing to beware of with Assams is bitterness, especially when steeping longer than three minutes. Having steeped this one for five minutes and having it not be bitter was an indication to me of a higher quality tea.
I’m the type who likes my black teas with a bit of milk and sweetener. This one was good enough to drink straight, but just for the heck of it I wanted to try it that way. Only a little milk was needed, so I used my small and decorative creamer in the shape of a cute kitty. (Somehow, cute teawares make any tea taste better and great teas taste super!) The flavor was smooth, but the tea nuttiness still came through.
This is going to be another tea on our list of ones to keep in supply in the pantry. I wouldn’t want to risk going into Assam “withdrawal.”
Assam Tea Basics
More on Assam
Some Assam Tea Types
Great Assam Breakfast Blends
What Is “CTC Assam”?
What Is “Orthodox Assam”?
Battle of the Assam Estate Teas
Is Snobbery Ruining Assam Tea?
Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, any opinions concerning this tea and the company are always strictly objective.
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