Assam woes

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Assam woes

Postby Salsero » Jan 17th, '08, 17:42

I emailed TeaSource as part of my never ending search for a great Assam tea. Bill Waddington, the proprietor, sent me a reply that I thought was worth sharing, at least in part.

Bill Waddington wrote:Assams, finding great-knock your socks off Assams the last few years has gotten challenging. I believe this is due mostly to poor weather in the region, either way too much rain, or not nearly enough -- one extreme or the other.
In addition to the immediate impact of bad weather on that crop, the plants themselves get stressed out after a few years of poor weather, either extreme. So that if you finally get a season of good weather, the plants still won't produce great tea. They are still recovering from the past one or two or three years of poor weather. There is a cumulative negative impact, and I think we are suffering in that right now.

Since I have been drinking tea for only about 15 months, I have never had the good stuff. :(
Someday, maybe ...

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 17th, '08, 18:56

*Sigh*

It seems like your quest will never end.

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Postby Chip » Jan 17th, '08, 19:09

Hmmmm, I have been hearing this for 8+ years about Assam. There is always an excuse. Strange.

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Postby Salsero » Jan 17th, '08, 19:13

Even breaking a mirror is only 7 years of bad luck.

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Postby CynTEAa » Jan 17th, '08, 19:54

What have you tried and from which vendors?

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Postby Salsero » Jan 17th, '08, 20:19

CynTEAa wrote:What have you tried and from which vendors?

Everything from everyone. Upton (12 samples), Jaya Teas (2 kinds), Tfactor (4), Lochan Teas (1), The Simple Leaf (2), Adagio (2), Harney (1), TeaGschwendner (4 kinds) and a local Indian food store CTC and BOP. Oh, and Tea Source (2 kinds), but not the ones among his stock that Bill directed me toward today, which I have ordered and eagerly look forward to being disappointed again!

Don't get me wrong, most of these have been pretty good tea, just not what I feel a great Assam should be.

Got any additional ideas?

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Postby joelbct » Jan 17th, '08, 20:22

The best Assam I ever tasted was a highly tippy/golden Assam blend in either 2004 or 2005, from "Oolong's Tea Bar" in New Haven, CT. It was incredible- Exploding with flavor, complex, multi-tonal... I must have gone through a pound or more during those 2 years.

I FedEx-ed some to a former professor of mine, a tea connoisseur who had spent years in India, and he told me it was the best Assam he'd ever tasted.

Sadly, the shop closed, and the proprietor never did tell me her importer.

I have not found its equal, and I have sought for the owner to try and find her source, to no avail...

Amazing Assam's are out there, I will vouch for that, and if you find one, let me know!

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 17th, '08, 20:27

What a tease! That's so evil, joelbct. :twisted:

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Postby Salsero » Jan 17th, '08, 21:39

Scruff McGruff wrote:What a tease! That's so evil, joelbct. :twisted:


I think joelbct is making it all up. Those are exactly the tasting notes that I long to jot down in my waking life not just in my dreams. String him up from the highest var. assamica tree in Yunnan!

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Postby joelbct » Jan 17th, '08, 23:08

Salsero wrote:
Scruff McGruff wrote:What a tease! That's so evil, joelbct. :twisted:


I think joelbct is making it all up.


Haha, no, I drank it, and it was real, all too real!

Once I get the time machine up and running, I'll jet back and get you some to prove it. Along with some Microsoft Stock from 1986. 'Til then, the search continues...

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Postby CynTEAa » Jan 18th, '08, 17:07

Salsero wrote:Got any additional ideas?


Yes, SpecialTeas. Haven't tried their current harvests but historically have very nice Assams.

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Postby Salsero » Jan 18th, '08, 18:28

CynTEAa wrote:Yes, SpecialTeas. Haven't tried their current harvests but historically have very nice Assams.


The more the merrier! I've ordered samples of their

Ghillidary Estate Golden Tips FTGBOP
Assam Malty FBOP.

I've been sort of underwhelmed by what I've ordered from them in the past, but I guess it's been largely strange teas, like Javanese or Kenyan, or things that have turned out not to be my favorites, like Ceylon. Thanks for the suggestion. It's time to give their Assams a try.

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Postby Wesli » Jan 18th, '08, 19:28

I have never had the good stuff. :cry:

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Postby CynTEAa » Jan 18th, '08, 22:20

Going for the broken leaf, eh? Gonna be strong. :)

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Postby Salsero » Jan 18th, '08, 22:34

Actually, I went for their two most expensive offerings. I too was suprised to see they are both BOP. One is even a blend. Strong I don't mind, but astringency is a negative. If they turn out to be too astringent I'll feed them to my son with milk and sugar.

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