Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Joseph Wesley Black Tea No. 2 - Assam

Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 200 degrees
Preparation Method: stainless steel infuser basket and ceramic teacup
Liquor: deep reddish amber

Assam is probably the one region that I drink tea from the least. That's not to say that I don't enjoy Indian teas but the opportunity doesn't present itself nearly as often. My puerh addiction probably has something to do with that these days. My eye was caught while browsing my Facebook timeline when I saw that +Joseph Wesley Black Tea had commissioned kullad's engraved with their logo. How cool is that! Kullads are the clay cups that are traditionally used to serve chai tea at roadside stands by chaiwallas. My fangirling in the comments prompted Mr. Joseph Wesley to offer to send me one in order to see how they would survive shipping. Of course I didn't mind volunteering my services. Much to my surprise he also generously shared some of his Assam tea to go with it.

The aroma of this tea while it was brewing was hard to describe. All I say is that it was exactly what tea is supposed to smell like. Am I making any sense? That aroma carried through as the dominant aspect of the flavor profile. I believe some people call it pekoe but I'm not entirely sure that is an actual taste. Layered behind that were malty notes with hints of chocolate. As the tea cooled a bit of fruitiness also came out. Ripe raspberries came to mind. There was the slightest bit of astringency in the finish that added a refreshing briskness without being bitter or unpleasant. I could have gone a tad longer on the second infusion but it was still very tasty. Milk or sugar would not be my recommendation here unless you're planning on using it to make stove top chai.

No.2 - Assam sample provided by Joseph Wesley Black Tea.