Thursday, January 22, 2015

Golden Tips Tea: Halmari Gold Assam Black Tea Second Flush (Clonal), A Tea Review

Guess what, it is game night! Also it is computer ordering time, yes my oh so wonderfully tech savvy boyfriend has found the perfect computer for me and is ordering it. I do not know much about it other than the screen is big, it is not Vista (I am free of the curse!) and I will probably be able to play Minecraft on it. So for all the terrible angst I have been going through with not having a computer, it looks like it will be having a happy ending. Also, guys, wish me luck that I do not manage to either blow myself up or damage my fellow party members in tonight's D&D game!

Today we are taking a look at Golden Tips Tea's Halmari Gold Assam Black Tea Second Flush (Clonal) a fuzzy golden tea from Assam, how neat! I have seen very fuzzy golden teas from places other than China, but the glorious fuzzy golds have become iconic to me, I always get excited seeing them from somewhere else. From the Halmari Tea Estate, these leaves come from the P126 Clonal bushes and are picked under very special circumstances, and of course, they are the highest grade of leaves with the GTGFOP grading. The aroma of these lovely fuzzies is pretty rich, a blend of maltiness that you expect from a high grade Assam, along with potent notes of cocoa, roasted peanuts, cooked cherries, and a subtle woodiness at the finish.

Into my fancy little steeping double boiler tea alchemy thingy the leaves go! After a nice steeping (thank you oh great and fancy timer app, though I am pretty sure programming it to sound like a Creeper hiss is going to bite me one day) the aroma of the leaves is again, very rich. There are notes of the expected malt, along with pepper, roasted peanuts, and a distinct oak wood undertone. The liquid is pretty much identical, it is very rich and malty, both the aroma of the leaves and the liquid is very rich and not at all sweet.

This tea wakes you up if you are asleep, I was expecting a rich and mild tea, again spoiled by Chinese fuzzy teas, what I got was an intense Assam. I have not had a straight Assam in a while, it used to be my go to black tea to drink, especially in the mornings, I loved the way its bold flavors wake you up and make you alert. The taste is very malty and accompanied by roasted peanuts and oak wood. There is a bit of an astringency to it, but it avoids being bitter, just super brisk. At the finish there is a bit of sweetness that lingers, like distant stewed cherries. Thank you Halmari Gold, I had forgotten my love of Assam's intensity.

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