Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grace Tea Company, Pure Assam Irish Breakfast

Grace Tea Company Description:
Assam is the base of most of the great Indian tea blends because of its strength, full flavor and deep color. We are one of the few tea blenders to offer 100% pure Assam as an offering. Our Pure Assam Irish Breakfast is a connoisseur’s delight and a popular breakfast tea with a surprisingly delicate character. This tea has malty overtones, which take well to milk and sugar. Our blend is an unforgettable cup to help start your day.

Price: 1 oz. Cupping Taster – $2.00

My Review:
I am getting a lesson in Irish Breakfast and Assam tea in general thanks to generous gifts from a couple of Steepster friends. I have always avoided Assam, apparently without reason. I thought they were harsh and bitter. Or that they were beige – as in my experiences with bagged English Breakfast teas. That is not what I am getting with these fine teas. Possibly the difference is because these are a better grade of tea. Possibly it is because these are loose leaf. Or just maybe all this time I have been accusing Assam teas, it was actually something else in the bag. Who knows? My journey and my learning continue.

This tea is finely cut pieces of brown malt scented leaf with flecks of golden buds throughout. I used about 2.5g or roughly 2/3 of my scoop in my press. 12oz of water was heated to boiling and after pouring over the leaf I left it to steep for three minutes. The scent of the leaf is mainly malt. The wet leaf is still very small – like half the size of Twinings loose leaf after steeping.

The sip is very smooth up front. Later in the sip some bite appears, yet not like the bagged teas I’ve tried. There is no bitterness. It is a little drying and I believe it could be hard on my stomach if I drank too much without eating with it. The taste is malty. There is another taste that isn’t exactly fruity. It reminds me more of hazelnut but it is light and stays in the background.

I am not likely to ever prefer Assam over Chinese black (red) teas but I am intrigued by my learning experience. This is a good cup of tea. This is the kind of tea I would enjoy with bacon and eggs. Of course it also just went well with some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

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