I can bet you are all surprised that I am looking at yet another Taiwanese hong cha, since it seems lately a lot of my tea drinking has been Taiwanese tea, and I am not showing favoritism...it is just, Taiwanese tea was my first love and I still have so much passion for it! Origins Tea's Taiwan Assam Black Tea is the lucky leaf pile for today's post, a hong cha made from the Assamica varietal, which means big curly leaves! The aroma of this tea is a fun one, blending savory and sweet with notes of dried tomatoes, carob, raisins, saffron, stewed plums, and sourdough bread. I found myself really intrigued with how it is both very sweet and fruity while also bringing the umami.
Time to add more layers of seasoning to my Taiwanese hong cha teapot (well, except for Red Jade, that has its own pot.) The aroma of the steeped leaves is a fascinating thing, strong notes of cumin and cocoa, brisk woodinesss, sweet prunes and cherries, and a finish of slightly earthiness and raisins. Again it mixes savory and sweet. The liquid, however, is immensely sweet, very strong notes of fruity chocolate, along with strong notes of almonds and brown sugar.
Oh my, this tea tastes identical to a fruit nut Cadbury bar, one of my favorite chocolates (mind you I haven't had one in years and it has probably been replaced by Toblerone) but wow, that chocolate, almond, raisin combo is taking me down a nostalgia path. Towards the end a note of cumin adding a bit of earthiness to the sweetness, balancing it out a bit. It has a wonderfully smooth mouthfeel as well.
Well, this tea continues to fascinated me! Instead of being a milk chocolate, it develops a carob and super dark chocolate giving it a touch of that cocoa bitterness which dances with intense raisin sweetness. The sweetness fades pretty quickly leaving a starchy sourdough and cumin note and a finish of distant brown sugar. Here is where it gets peculiar, it tastes like brown sugar but without the sweetness, which is a strange thing to experience!
This tea has some decent longevity, two more steeps of bittersweet chocolate and fruit, followed by four more of sweet milk chocolate Cadbury nut and fruit bar goodness, lastly the final two steeps are delicate brown sugar sweetness. I already drank all my sample, which makes me sad becuase I am craving chocolate and want more. Maybe Ben will bring me a Toblerone if I ask nicely...until then I will strongly contemplate buying a stash of this tea, not that I really need tea...ok I always need tea!!
This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.