Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grey's Teas Assam Smoked Oolong

Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: mix of greens and browns, curled and twisted
Ingredients: smoked oolong tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 212
Preparation Method: ceramic infuser cup
Liquor: amber

I'm usually an unflavored/unscented tea person but every once in a while an usual offering makes me sit up and take notice. Assam, smoked and oolong are three words that I never thought I'd see together. Grey's Teas explains on their website that it is smoked with an oak-like wood. As usual, +Geoffrey Norman has already been down this smoky path. I wasn't sure of where in Assam this tea was produced but he let me know that it was Mothola. The brewing directions said 3 minutes but no other parameters were given so I played it safe the first time around. Going lighter on leaf volume and with a temperature of 195, it tasted something like oak smoked peaches. The fruitiness was subtle but I found that it lingered long after each sip. Having plenty of leaf to experiment, I pushed the temperature up to boiling. Holy cow, it tasted just like whiskey (without the alcohol burn)! Most teas that I sample only get touched a few times before I have to move onto the next candidate. Over the course of the week, I found myself repeatedly craving and drinking this tea. I have yet to play around with gongfu-ing it but I definitely will be doing that soon.

Assam Smoked Oolong sample provided by Grey's Teas.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on