Friday, March 31, 2006

Tea Review 62 - Hattialli & Tippy Orthodox

Hattialli Estate GFBOP SPL
Tippy Orthodox GFOP
Upton Tea Imports

Yerba Mate Month is almost upon us, Assam Month is fading and the tea cupboard is almost bare of the latter. Oh, woe. But we'll usher out the month with a bang - specifically with one of the better of the dozen or so Assams I've tasted lately.

Hattialli Estate gets the best in show award, as far as Assam Month goes. It's not cheap. As a matter of fact, at $4.50 for a 15 gram sample, it's the most expensive of the sixty or so Assam varieties that Upton sells. But it's worth it.

This is one of several varieties that Upton offers from this estate. It's overflowing with nice tips, not to mention an outstanding aroma and flavor and a mouth feel that's smooth as silk.

Here's the full description from Upton's site, to which I say a resounding "amen":

"This renowned estate has produced many top-notch teas in recent years. This example has a beautiful, broken leaf, with a high percentage of golden-copper tips. The fresh, invigorating aroma and thick liquor are backed by the full, complex Assam flavor."

If you'd rather not spend so much but you'd still like a nice tasting Assam you could do a lot worse than the Tippy Orthodox. One hundred grams of this one sells for just a little more than the sample of the Hattialli and yet it ranks right up there with some of the other top Assams I've had the pleasure to taste this month.

Recommended in both cases, but if you really want a thrill cough up a little extra cash and go with the Hattialli.

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