Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tea Review 51 - Assam & Assam

Assam - Mangalain Estate
In Pursuit of Tea

Assam Black
Honest Tea

Over the course of the past several weeks Tea Guy has been taking in a lot of black tea, almost to the exclusion of all others. I'd probably still be on that track except that I've exhausted my supply and wasn't quick enough on my toes to make sure that it was replenished. Oh, woe.

Of all the great black teas out there - and I don't think I've met any I don't like - the one I keep coming back to is Assam. There's just something about it. I can't quite put my finger on it. Must be that remarkable full-bodied flavor.

One of the true standouts in this category is In Pursuit of Tea's single estate Assam from Mangalain Estate. As the package points out, the estate is located by the Towkok River in the foothills of Nagaland, in northeast India, where it covers a total of 105 hectares.

Which is right interesting stuff to know about but I'd have been just as happy with this one if it had come in a plain brown paper bag. As a matter of fact, I liked it so much that I was out of it almost before I'd cracked open anything else in the In Pursuit of Tea shipment.

Excellent, and highly recommended.

Honest Tea's Assam Black ain't so shabby either, suffering only by comparison to the Mangalain. This one's a bagged variety that uses organic large leaf tea and comes packaged 18 bags to a box. You could do a whole lot worse and the nice part is that you might even be able to track this one down at your local supermarket. I did.

Also recommended.

By the way, Assam tea purveyors like to mention that it works well with milk and sugar and I suppose that for many people it does. But if you're a milk and sugar person, you might want to try some straight up for a change. Who knows? Maybe you'll like it.

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