Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Golden Tips, Mankota Exotic Assam Black Tea Second Flush

Golden Tips Description:
Mankota produces some excellent second flush black teas every year. This tea in particular boasts of all characters of a premium Assam tea. The tea is robust, bold and extremely malty. The full-body of the tea finishes on a slightly sweet note which makes it an absolute prized possession. Sprinkled with golden tips all over, the dark red liquor shimmers in the cup. 
A fantastic breakfast tea and a must-try if you love Assam tea.

Sample provided by Golden Tips

My Review:
I am having one of 'those' days. To top it off I just got off the phone with our new internet provider and it left me totally frustrated. Yeah, I may have gotten loud with the poor girl on the phone who wasn't to blame. I may have had to apologize for taking it out on her. Golly, I need tea!

Assam, I am only beginning to appreciate. I've mentioned before how years of mediocre to plain bad grocery store bagged Assam kind of scarred me in my early tea drinking days. I have learned good quality leaf makes a world of difference. This one is labelled Exotic Assam. Oooohhh! Here's hoping.

I opened the bag and... just, wow! The aroma is sweet and fruity. It smells of fresh country hay. Combined it has maybe a touch of dry tobacco leaf scent. I love the smell of this stuff.

Forgive me for getting a little cutesy with the leaf. I formed it into a little heart shape because it is just so beautiful and aromatic. The leaf is small twists of dark chocolate browns and pretty golden buds.  Did I mention this is an Assam? Just, wow!

Into the press it goes. Filtered water heated to 200 F was added. The steep was 3 1/2 minutes.

The leaf and the cup have a wonderful fruity, malty, bready warmth about it.

The liquor is bright and clear. It is as much ruby as it is orange. So far I cannot find a single flaw.

After cooling a bit I take my first sip. I think Golden Tips nailed it with their description. I'll go through the motions of furnishing my own point of view in hopes my word choice adds to the picture.

This is so completely different from the Chinese Yunnan teas I normally drink. It is just as far removed from grocery store bagged Assam, The first thing I notice is the brightness of the tannins. It is snap you awake brisk (Woo Hoo!), without crossing into bitter. That quickly fades into nicely malty. The maltiness stays with you long into the aftertaste. It is joined by a sweetness that seems fruity without declaring a particular fruit.

It does leave a moderate dryness that comes with the brisk territory. The however, is that it seemed easy on the stomach. If you add sugar or milk, which I am sure this would take well, then that might not matter to you.

A second cup is definitely in order. The cup is maybe a little lighter in color and texture. Gone is the super brisk beginning. It is replaced by a warm spiciness, followed by mineral. This leads into plum notes. The malt is much lighter but still hanging around for your tasting pleasure.

I can't remember the last time I have had a really bad cup of tea. I do recall the last really good one, and I happen to still be sipping on it.

You can find Golden Tips, Mankota Exotic Assam Black Tea Second Flush here.

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