Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s first flush season, one of my favorite times of the year. After a long, cold winter, I always look forward to the fresh new teas of the spring. In my cup this morning is a first flush tea, however, as you can tell from the photo, it’s darker with none of the usual green bits of leaf. What’s up?
I’m happy to introduce you to a first flush Assam tea, this one from the Towkok Estate.
The Towkok Estate is located in the Assam district of northeastern India. Surrounded by a nature preserve teeming with wildlife, the western side of the estate borders the Towkak river. The story goes that the tea garden was named after the dancing tortoises found in the river as the name Towkok means “dancing tortoise” in the native Tai language. Thinking of this story as I sip my tea makes me feel happy.
I steeped the leaves for 5 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.
The “Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1″ leaf designation is of a whole leaf but, as you can see from the photo of the wet leaf, it means big pieces of leaf, not necessarily whole, intact ones. The leaf designations result from a sieving and dividing the leaf process after the tea has been withered, rolled, oxidized and dried.
The amber red tea liquor has a malty aroma with a refreshing minty quality. The flavor is smooth and malty with crisp, bright notes of mint. The flavor lingers ever so gently, enticing me to take another sip.
In the past, I’ve had first flush Assams that are so light-bodied they remind me of a Darjeeling tea. Not so with this tea. It’s rich and malty and easily identified as an Assam tea. That said, the refreshing minty quality sets it apart from the usual flavor notes of second flush Assam offerings.
What have you all been up to lately? I’ve been taking a watercolor class and enjoying playing with the flowing colors. I’ve been teaching myself geometric beadwork and have completed a number of cuffs, which I’m looking forward to sharing with you as soon as I take some pictures. I’m looking forward to visiting my family in Michigan in the coming week. So, lots of abundance in my life to be grateful for!
I’m also looking forward to being back in two weeks when I’ll share a brand new first flush Darjeeling! Oh happy Spring!
“…I hear the sounds of melting snow outside my window every night and with the first faint scent of spring, I remember life exists…”
~John Geddes, A Familiar Rain