Looking for a very malty Assam


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Looking for a very malty Assam

Postby lenny7 » Jan 13th, '07, 13:06

The first black tea I every tried was a malty Assam from TeaSource, which they called Strong Assam. I loved it! It had a really nice, strong malty flavor to it that reminded me of the time when I was a homebrewer brewing beer and smelling the wort (cooked malty water which yeast turns into beer) as it cooled before fermenting.

I tried the Assam Melody at Adagio and while I liked it, it didn't have as strong of a malty flavor as I'd like.

Can anyone suggest an Assam which has a really big, bold malty character?
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Strong Assam

Postby Salsero » Jan 13th, '07, 16:59

Why not just order more Strong Assam from Tea Source?

http://teasource.com/merchant2/merchant ... t_Count=12
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Re: Strong Assam

Postby lenny7 » Jan 13th, '07, 17:37

Salsero wrote:Why not just order more Strong Assam from Tea Source?

http://teasource.com/merchant2/merchant ... t_Count=12


Where's the adventure in that? I'm just starting my tea discovery, how will I know what I like best if I don't try different kinds? I do love the Strong Assam, but if there's a maltier one out there, I'd like to try it.

Actually I can just drive to TeaSource. It's only 15 minutes from where I work.
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Re: Strong Assam

Postby Chip » Jan 13th, '07, 19:11

lenny7 wrote:
Salsero wrote:Why not just order more Strong Assam from Tea Source?

http://teasource.com/merchant2/merchant ... t_Count=12


Where's the adventure in that? I'm just starting my tea discovery, how will I know what I like best if I don't try different kinds? I do love the Strong Assam, but if there's a maltier one out there, I'd like to try it.

Actually I can just drive to TeaSource. It's only 15 minutes from where I work.


I have not ordered from them this year, but Upton has a bijillion different assams and many are described as malty. Before you order, you can call them and ask for a recommendation and at the same time make certain that it is an 06 harvest...That is something I am insistant about with UTI since they have so many teas...they cannot all be new/fresh.
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Adventure HO!!

Postby Salsero » Jan 13th, '07, 19:24

lenny7--

The adventure is a big part of tea for me too. That's why I'm going to order some Strong Assam from Tea Source!

Myself, I've been looking for the super-Assam (super malty, that is) for a couple of weeks and have so far tried 24 samples, without a winner, though it has been a LOT OF fun. I've found 2 (maybe 3) that may be contenders. Warning: my palate has the refinement of a floor rug so the super-malt I'm looking for has to have the subtlety of a jackhammer.

Upton's Borbam Estate CTC BOP (TA21) is cheap and pretty malty. I've found that almost doubling the tea and brewing for 45 sec at a bit below boiling controls the astringency/bitterness and you can get a second steep from the same leaves. I was also pretty happy with their Nahorhabi Estate FTGFOP1 SPL CL (TA 93). "Tea Guy Speaks" liked this and another Upton offering a lot

http://wileng.blogspot.com/

I wasn't that impressed with his #1 rating, Hattialli, which he cites as Upton's most expensive Assam. Upton does now have a Duflating Estate which is even more expensive, which I tried and liked OK but would never buy more than a sample at over $130 a pound.

I also liked TheSimpleLeaf's Mountain Malt which I tried after reading Tess's review at

http://teadonism.wordpress.com/2006/09/ ... mple-leaf/

While it was clearly not my super-Malt, it had such a nice balance of other flavors alongside the malt that I may order it again if I ever finish drinking the enormous amount of Assam that that I have on hand now!

I've also found generally that a good malty flavor often seems to bring with it a bitterness/astringency that is too much for my taste. Of course, adding a little milk takes off this edge and gives a pleasant cocoa sort of effect, but I usually prefer drinking tea without milk. Another way to reduce the bite of even the cheapest CTC from the local Indian grocery store is to increase the amount of tea leaves, reduce the steep time, and maybe reduce the water temp a tad.

Also, if you haven't tried them yet, China Blacks, like Adagio's Yunnan Gold, can be wonderful adventure with malty, peppery, cocoa, and red winey flavors and usually with very minimal bitterness.
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Postby lenny7 » Jan 21st, '07, 00:50

Salsero, thanks for the info on the various assam's you've tried. I'll look into some of them, though probably not the super expensive ones!

I stopped by another local tea shop two days ago, Indigo Tea, which is a shop I really enjoy. I asked for their maltiest assam but they only had two and neither smelled super malty.

One was just an assam blend. I passed on it. The other was their Assam Doomni. While the maltiness was not overpowering, the contribution of other aromas made it interesting enough that I had to try it. I'm very pleased with it, but my search continues. I'll be buying the Assam Doomni from time to time.

Neal, the proprietor, then suggested I try their Mt. Everest blend, which is Assam and Yunnan teas. The aroma from the mixture of the malty Assam and peppery Yunnan was wonderful so I bought 4 oz of that. It's a fantastic tea with a really nice balance between the two types. I believe it will become a staple in my house.
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Teasource

Postby Salsero » Jan 21st, '07, 01:27

I ordered some of the Teasource Strong Assam and was a little disappointed. Maybe their source has changed or maybe it's getting old or maybe one of the million other variables (like the cold I've had). I thought it had a nice full feel in the mouth, but not as malty as many Assams. Kind of fruity, a bit bitter but not very astringent. Certainly a nice drink, but not the Malt King I keep looking for (probably in vain!)

Teasource, however, sent along a tiny sample of something called Assam Satrupa Kama (an estate) that I found very satisfying. They call it "weighty, malty, robust." And it costs LESS than Strong Assam!

The Mt Everest sounds great! Since Adagio is nice enough to host this site, by the way, it's only fair to mention that they have 2 excellent Assam selections, the Melody being my favorite (and the cheaper), the Harmony being more complex.
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Postby javyn » Jan 21st, '07, 01:45

Upton has a "Frisian" Assam blend. It is described as being malty. The BOP would pack more of a punch than the TGFOP.
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Postby lenny7 » Jan 21st, '07, 02:09

Salsero, I'm sorry you were disappointed by the Strong Assam. I should have mentioned that when I bought it I was JUST getting into drinking tea and it was the first black tea I bought. Still, I did love it. I'll have to try the Satrupa Kama when I stop by there next week.

I tried the Assam Melody from Adagio and while I enjoyed it, I didn't feel compelled to order it again. I'll have to give it another chance after a while.

I just ordered the Mountain Malt Assam, the American Breakfast Assam, and the Viva en Verde Dooars Green Tea from The Simple Leaf, all in sample sizes.

Javyn, the local tea shop, Indigo Tea, also carries a Friesian blend, which the proprietor recommend to me during our conversation over malty assams, but having just decided on 4oz of Assam Doomni and 4oz of Mt. Everest, I passed on it. I'll have to try it next time I'm there.
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Postby kimber45acp » Jan 24th, '07, 03:11

Check out Teavana's Assam Gold Rain. Even though I rarely buy their loose leaf teas, they can be overpriced, this particular Assam has the trademark bold malty flavor. Click http://www.teavana.com/Assam+Gold+Rain+Black+Tea/cid=46/page_no=1/edp_no=4224/shop.axd/ProductDetails for a description of this fine Assam. Just be sure to brew it for about 6 or 7 mins with at least 2 teaspoons per 8 oz cup to bring out that bold malty flavor.
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Long brews

Postby Salsero » Jan 24th, '07, 11:20

Kimber45acp--
Doesn't the long brew make the tea very bitter and astringent? When I'm going for more strength, I have been using more tea and shorter times, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I don't usually use milk or sugar. I will give your long brew technique a try.

lenny7--
I'm not sooooo disappointed! Don't be sorry. All tea is good!
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Postby kimber45acp » Jan 25th, '07, 00:57

It does sometimes but adding sugar eases down on the bitterness. I happen to like the bitterness so its not a problem for me. You can also try using water thats about 180-190 degrees and steep for about 6-7 minutes. Usually cooler water tones down the bitterness as well.
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Postby lenny7 » Jan 25th, '07, 01:57

lenny7 wrote:I just ordered the Mountain Malt Assam, the American Breakfast Assam, and the Viva en Verde Dooars Green Tea from The Simple Leaf, all in sample sizes.


I just received my order of these teas, though I haven't tried them yet as I didn't want any caffiene that late in the evening. They even threw in a a sample of their More Amor, so I ended up with every Assam they offer. The samples I bought were supposed to be 1oz. There seemed to be a wide range of amounts in the bags so I put them on my postal scale and found out the four bags ranged in weight from 1.3oz to 2.3oz! I look forward to trying all four tomorrow at work.

Kimber45acp, I like the user ID! In the same vein perhaps I should have been DPMS223.
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Postby Oolongaddict » Mar 3rd, '07, 13:00

Seajuli Estate TGFOP1 sounds like the one you need. It can be found at Upton's:

http://www.uptontea.com/shopcart/item.a ... 17#reviews

I received it in the mail as a complementary sample after doing some Christmas shopping for myself on Upton's.

Now Assam's aren't my thing, but I liked this one. It had a malty flavor reminiscent of a stout beer, and a small cocoa tone to it. I'd have it for breakfast every day if I wasn't so fond of drinking Lapsang or Se Zhong every morning.
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Re: Looking for a very malty Assam

Postby Mike in KY » Mar 25th, '07, 15:42

lenny7 wrote:Can anyone suggest an Assam which has a really big, bold malty character?


The maltiness is an essential part of the flavor of a great Assam and have found that higher priced Assams, with their more complex fruity flavor and lighter character typically lack that overall boldness and thicker body I also require.
I find that by blending a stronger thicker bodied Assam (usually less expesive - under $2/oz) with some higher priced stuff, I get a much better cup of tea. When you get it right, maltiness and other flavors are enhanced by blending this way.

Given the fact that the currently availble Assams are somewhat lacklustre* to say the least :roll: , I also sometimes add a pinch of Golden Nepal to the pot. Again, this tends to enhance and clarify the flavors, including the maltiness. Normally I would not add Golden Nepal or Darjeeling to Assams, but desperate times call for drastic measures.

* I referred to this fact in more detail in another thread : viewtopic.php?t=31
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