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Assam

Assam Marangi Estate Black Tea (FTGFOP1) from Simpson and Vail. . .

Many of you know I start each and every day with a Black Tea and then move on to the other tea bases from there and sip on different teas all day long…but…I have to say that Assams are generally among my favorite!

May I introduce you to a new offering from Simpson & Vail? Assam Marangi Estate Black Tea (FTGFOP1).

This lead me to my own personal research and enrichment on the Marangi Estate. The Marangi Estate is located in the Golaghat district of north-eastern Assam south of the Brahmaputra River. This district’s economy is agriculture in nature, with crops of tea, rice and sugar cane its major crops. Tea is the largest agricultural crop grown here with over 63 large tea gardens as well as many small scale tea-growers. 63 LARGE tea gardens? Yes, please! While this is a small estate, with approximately 250 hectares in cultivation, Marangi is a well respected garden that produces very high quality Assam black tea. After sipping on this tea I would completely agree! This estate seems to be the definition of QUALITY over quantity!

This Assam – that I am sipping on again while typing this review – is from the Marangi Estate and has black and golden leaves and is graded as a FTGFOP (finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe). It brews to a rich, amber colored cup with a slight cocoa aroma with floral and woodsy notes. Taste-wise it is malty with a balanced astringency and a smooth, slight cocoa finish. I have to say that malty and cocoa type Assams are among my favorite of the Assams!

This might have to go on my Top Ten Teas of this year so far! YUM!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

This tea from the Marangi Estate has uniform black and golden leaves and is graded as a FTGFOP (finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe). It brews to a rich, amber colored cup with a slight cocoa aroma with floral and woodsy notes. The taste is malty with a balanced astringency and a smooth, slight cocoa finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Russian Caravan from Tea Queens. . . .

I usually reserve my smokier teas for cool or cold weather since I find them very comforting, but cloudy, rainy days spent gazing out the window qualify, too!

Tea Queens sells through consultants, and you can host a tea break or a tea party to learn about tea and to taste some of their offerings. If there is no consultant in your area, the website instructs you to call customer service, so I assume you can order directly from them.

This Russian Caravan is a blend of Assam, Keemun with lychee, and Lapsang Souchong. There are no steeping instructions on the website so I went with 200F and four minutes just to pamper the Assam a bit.

The resulting tea is so light I thought perhaps I had made a mistake, but I have another Lapsang blend that comes out a similar color.

This went very well with our breakfast of blueberry scones. The company sells scone mix, too, by the way! And teapot cookie cutters and colorful decorating sugars.

There is a touch of briskness from the Assam, and it is nicely smokey. I like smoke, and a few Russian Caravan blends have disappointed me by being a bit too tame, but this one was just right. I really don’t taste much lychee, even the cups I drank after the scone was long gone. I think mainly I pick up a general fruitiness from the the Assam and lychee together.

I have made a lot of new friends by having people over who want to learn about tea, where it is grown, how it is processed, how to prepare it, why to drink. I think the idea of hosting a party where an expert comes to conduct your own personal tea flight is marvelous! Especially since it gives you a discount on your tea, and real teaheads know how outrageous the tea budget can get!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Queens
Description

A blend of Assam and Keemun with Chinese lychee tea imparts a wonderful fruitiness. Lapsang Souchong adds a gentle touch of smokiness to this one of a kind blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

52Teas’ the 12 Teas of Christmas – Day 8-Spoilers!

Day 8!

Today’s tea is French Vanilla Marshmallow Assam Black Tea.  I’m already excited seeing the name, because I love what 52Teas does for marshmallow teas, whether it is the marshmallow root or a little extra flavoring, they always taste great.  Even in the bag, the creamy vanilla scent is so welcoming and relaxing.

When the holidays are keeping you busy and you want a pick-me-up like a cup of hot chocolate, but you don’t want a chocolate-flavored tea, this blend can really hit the spot.  It has plenty of black tea robustness and caffeine, but is coated in marshmallowy goodness. Feel free to add milk or actual marshmallows to your mug to make a pseudo-hot-chocolate.

This would make a nice house blend to have on hand and bring out for tea parties or guests. The vanilla is classic and creamy without being too sweet, and the black tea base is pleasantly malty and full-bodied. For when you want a cup of tea with a familiar, comforting flavor with a touch of fancy French vanilla.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

I started with a blend of Assam teas that includes a first flush Assam as well as a second flush Assam. Together, these two Assams create a rich, flavorful, fruity and malty cuppa. It’s a powerful blend of Assam teas – it’s going to get you revved up in the morning – or revive you in the afternoon when you need a perk-me-up. To these teas, I added some vanilla beans and marshmallow root as well as some French vanilla extract. I also added some cornflower petals to make it pretty (but not enough to add a strong floral note.) The vanilla and marshmallow notes soften the edge of the Assam nicely – you still get that robust black tea flavor but you also get this sweet, soft, fluffy vanilla-y/marshmallow-y note that is quite divine. And it’s also organic, VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen free!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Arabian Kismet from Swallowtail Tea. . . .

I love black tea with unusual combinations of spices, so I was very excited to try Arabian Kismet from Swallowtail Tea.  This is a blend based around orange pekoe special Assam black tea with added sage and cardamom.

The full flavors of the black tea itself pair perfectly with the fresh and earthy sage, and the sweet and mellow cardamom.  This is one of those teas that will work for any occasion. It has classic black tea for those staunch pekoe drinkers and a little bit of spice for chai lovers.  But without the classic chai spices like cinnamon and ginger, this tea is much more versatile and unexpected.

Sage always makes me think of Thanksgiving, so this feels very much like a fall tea to me.  The cardamom helps that image, bringing up spicy visions of the upcoming winter spice cookies.  This tea smells like a classic kitchen or herb garden, but its flavor combination in a tea blend is a new and exciting change of pace for me.  Great for breakfast or afternoon, or anytime you want to feel a little cozy and a little dreamy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea
Description:

This delightful blend of Assam, sage, and cardamom might make you believe in Kismet after all.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Let’s Get Sassy with Pootea Tang from Modest Mix. . . .

Modest Mix has some seriously sassy tea names, often involving satisfying expletives.  If that sounds up your alley, I highly recommend browsing their store for some blends with fired up names that suit your attitude.  The blending services of BlendBee were used to craft these teas, so you know they will be flavorful and balanced.

In line with the Modest Mix theming, the Pootea Tang blend is a bold and flirty treat.  With cacao nibs and orange peel, it is equal parts smooth and chocolatey, and bright and tangy.  Juicy citrus is the driving force in this blend, powered up even more by the complementary flavors of tart rose hips. The taste of the cacao nibs and the black tea itself come to light in the back of each sip, and in the soft mouthfeel that follows the first burst of orange.

In a stroke of tea-blending genius, this blend uses an assam black tea base.  The assam is strong enough to carry the flavorful orange, but smooth enough to compliment the cocoa, dessert-like flavors. This is a tasty blend when you are feeling a little sweet and sour and want a tea blend to match your mood.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Modest Mix
Description:

You f**king love chocolate don’t you? How about some added orange for that tangy zest that your bad*ss body craves? You’re welcome.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!