I’ve felt a shift in the air this week as we enter the second part of August. The sun sets earlier, the nights are cooler and I’ve even caught the faint whiff of woodsmoke as folks start to get a little cozier in the evenings by the fireplace. Lowe’s has row upon row of chrysanthemum pots in beautiful fall colors and rich burgundy blooms now adorn my front porch.
With a cooler breeze wafting in my windows, it’s the perfect morning for an Assam tea. Just as I love first flush Darjeelings in the springtime, I always enjoy Assam teas best in the fall. Their rich warmth is a wonderful balance to the cooler temps here in New England.
The Assam tea growing region is located in northeast India and the teas produced in that area were my first tea love. Their dark, full body reminds me so much of the tea my Mom used to drink when I was young. As the granddaughter of Irish immigrants, she always enjoyed her “cuppa”. And, of course, that’s what I was served whenever I wasn’t feeling well. So, as I grew up, I always associated black tea with comfort and feeling better.
My morning tea is an Assam from the Marangi estate, a 700 acre tea garden located in the hills of Assam. Every season there are a few outstanding teas that embody the best qualities of an Assam tea. This tea is definitely one of those teas!
The leaf is generously laced with golden tip, indicating a premium tea. I find that the golden tip also smooths out the astringency level in the tea liquor. This tea is a fine example of that as it is just smooth as silk.
I steeped the leaves for 5 minutes in boiling point (212 F) water. While the tea is very hearty and would stand up well to milk or cream, I’m drinking mine straight up.
The aroma is rich and malty which carries on into the complex flavor. Layers of malt are enhanced with a hint of dried fruit sweetness. This tea is a real treat!
Note to self: this would be the perfect birthday gift for my Assam loving friends. For myself, it would make the perfect companion to a cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera Bread!
What is your favorite tea in the fall?
“Autumn to winter, winter to spring,
Spring into summer, summer into fall—
So rolls the changing year, and so we change;
Motion so swift, we know not that we move.“
~Dinah Mulock Craik