Review: Culinary Teas Assam Bukhial

Assam Tea, Black Tea, Culinary Teas, Single Estate Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A fine pants-kicker of a cup."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9/10
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According to the Culinary Teas website, the Bukhial Tea Estate is located on the south side of the Brahmaputra River in the Golaghat region of Assam. It is operated by the largest privately-owned tea plantation group, and this estate in particular is renowned for the soil in which the tea bushes are planted. Grown at an altitude of 2,500 ft. above sea level, centuries of fall flooding have contributed to the deposition of rich loam. Such a phenomenon caused tea bushes to mature slowly, thus imparting a more flavorful impression.

The tea profile also mentioned that the tea leaves - after drying - are manufactured in a CTC (crush, tear, curl) fashion, but I'm not too sure that was accurate. CTC-grade teas look like they've been pulverized to pebbles, one step above granule. There was another CTC-cut Bukhial offering on the Culinary site, thus leading me to believe it was a copy/paste job without correction. The leaves for this were at least medium-cut, if not whole leaf in some instances. Golden tips also dotted the batch. The aroma they gave off was malty and tiramisu-ish - a very good sign.

Brewing instructions called for a three-to-seven-minute steep, 1 tsp. of tea per 1 cup of boiled water. That was quite a range to go with. I preferred my black teas on the lighter side; Assams were no exception. I infused for three minutes.

The liquor brewed to a light cherry-crimson with a touch of amber at the base. The aroma was equal parts earthy, smoky and dry. I was a little worried that I could smell the astringency after so light a steep. That trait, thankfully, only showed up on the foretaste, which smoothed out into full-bodied, licorice-sweet middle. The finish possessed a bitter snap to it, yet was oddly complimented by a fluttery malt tickle. Culinary teas made a tall claim by stating this was the best Assam around. I only partially agree. It is one of the best. A fine pants-kicker of a cup.

— To purchase Culinary Teas Assam Bukhial, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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