Let me start by saying hello, it's been many a year since the times I regularly perused these forums, and it's good to see they're still here! I figured if anyone could answer this question when googled failed me, it might be you all.
Times are... not ideal, fiscally speaking, and these days my faithful daily black tea is the cheapest CTC assam I can get from my local Asian Grocery, which is "Swan" brand (half the products in the shop are this same generic brand, including spices, beans, dried fruits, etc). It's not the highest quality, but I've gotten attached, as one does, I suppose.
But today, when I went on a grocery-run, instead of my dependable assam on the shelf, I found an imposter tea, of which I've attached a photo. The packaging is almost identical to the tea I've grown to find comfort in, with the addition of "(herbal)" in the package label. The tea itself, too, appears to be identical to the assam I am used to, except with the addition of these mysterious green-brownish flecks:
There's no ingredients list, and frustratingly little information that I can find online about this brand (which is so generic it's hardly a brand at all), other than that they had a bunch of recalls last year... not helping, google.
I bought it, of course, out of desperation-- what else could I do? I brewed it up and it tastes.. similar enough to my mainstay that I suppose I'll manage, but there's certainly a... well, 'herbal' note to it, though not distinct enough to identify. I am feeling a little under the weather though, so maybe when my senses are sharper I'll have more information to offer.
In the meantime though, has anyone else seen or tried this kind of tea? Any guesses as to what these mystery flecks of leaves are? Are there any herbs that are commonly added to assam tea? Are you better at googling than I am? I can try to post better photos later if it would help.
Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated! Thank you all.
For general/other topics related to tea.