|"This is a sturdy, sweet tasting, fairly malty assam with a slight curl of astringency at the very last second. It has a long aftertaste, pleasingly dry."|
In any case. I'll admit that I wasn't sure whether this tea would be something I'd really enjoy or not. Stash is such a huge company in the tea world that I was a little ambivalent about trying their tea, since I really enjoy seeking out small, independent tea companies and supporting the sailboats and schooners and not so much the yachts (or let's be serious...the cruise ships) of the seas. I wonder sometimes if a really huge company can develop intimate purchasing agreements with small estates that might not be able to meet the production volume demands that such a big buyer might have. But I also wanted to give them a try and see what the tea was like, since snobbery works both ways! Plus, assams have become a special favorite of mine and I enjoy trying them. So I did.
The Kopili Assam is a medium length black tea. The Stash website notes the following interesting information. "Located in Umrangshu, the estate covers 3,000 acres at an elevation of 2,000 feet above sea level. This is comparable to the mid elevation estates of Darjeeling. Kopili is the only tea estate in Assam located at this elevation. The other Assam gardens are at a maximum elevation of 150 to 200 feet, with some even below sea level. Kopili is surrounded by dense, lush evergreen rain forests. Kopili teas benefit from the close proximity of the hot springs at Garampani. The Kopili Estate is owned by the same family who owns the well-known Ambootia™ Estate in Darjeeling. The teas from Kopili are unique due to the proximity of the hot springs, the climate of the region and the soil conditions."
Most interesting about this tea to me was that it is really unique among assams in that it is grown at elevation. Apparently, virtually all, if not all, other assams are grown at very low altitude; basically sea level. That was something I wasn't aware of.
The dried leaf has a very very slightly smoky and notably sweet scenting to it. Using 1 tablespoon of loose tea to my 24 ounce teapot and using freshly boiled water, I steeped three minutes and was greeted with a very dark, red tinged brew, coffee dark with a sweet, astringent and lightly malty scent.
The tasting was much in keeping with the smelling. This is a sturdy, sweet tasting, fairly malty assam with a slight curl of astringency at the very last second. It has a long aftertaste, pleasingly dry. The tea has body without bite, and as I drank more of my cup, the sweet, rounded flavor made itself more pronounced. This tea was a great wake up tea and went wonderfully with hot buttered homemade toast. I think it would make for a nice afternoon tea as well.
I very much enjoyed this tea.
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