|"A fine pants-kicker of a cup."|
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.
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