|"There was a bit of sweetness in the middle, but for the most part it was quintessentially Assam without much deviation."|
What I was not expecting, though, was that my first Assam from them would be their CTC-grade offering. For those not in the know, C.T.C. stands for "crush-tear-curl" - a method where they literally pulverize the leaves to the size of tiny pellets. The idea is to get a product that brews rather quickly. In some circles, though, the consensus is that there's also a bit of flavor loss, especially in comparison to whole-leaf varieties. These leaves were black and gunpowder small. The aroma they gave off, I compared to smoked molasses.
KTeas (and - by proxy - Glenburn) recommended a brewing approach of 1 tsp. per English cup of boiled water with a steep of up-to-five minutes. Given how quickly I expected this to steep, I brewed 1 tsp. in 8oz. of boiled water for three minutes.
No subtlety to this one. It brewed rather quickly to a deep red-brown with a pungent/astringent aroma. It was a CTC, alright. On taste - no subtlety here, either - it screamed "MALT!", bombarding my tongue with its burly liquor. There was a bit of sweetness in the middle, but for the most part it was quintessentially Assam without much deviation. And it woke me up pretty good. I can't say it was the best Assam I've ever tried, but it lived up to the namesake. That and it made me curious to try a whole leaf Khongea sometime soon. Call that a success.
— To purchase KTeas Glenburn Estates 06-June Khongea CTC-BOP Chai Assam Tea, 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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