Good morning, dear tea friends! In continuing Assam month here at Art and Tea, I have an unusual Assam filling my cup today, a first flush selection from the Amgoorie estate.
Most Assams are harvested during the summer months, or the second flush season. They are well known and loved for their characteristic full-bodied, hearty, malty flavor profile. This first flush was harvested in the springtime, the first growth of the tea leaves. While the characteristic Assam flavor notes are still there, it usually has a much lighter body.
Even though it’s a whole leaf tea, I steeped the leaves in boiling point (212F) water for only 3 minutes because it’s a first flush and since I wasn’t planning on adding milk. It can be steeped for a longer time if adding milk and/or sweetener, or if you like a brighter quality to your plain tea.
I found this photo of the Amgoorie estate factory. Being a confessed clean freak myself, I’m greatly comforted to know how clean their operation is there. Yes, tea leaves are usually sorted and piled on floors.
The wet leaf has a hint of cocoa aroma that is revealed in its flavor as well. The tea liquor is quite smooth with a fuller body than what I was expecting.
The color in my glass teapot reflects the myriad of oranges and reds flaming across our New England fields and forests.
The flavor is lightly malty with a kick of brightness in the finish.
The last 2 weeks have taken me on a journey I’ve never experienced before. Someone very close to me had major surgery and was in a Boston hospital for 10 days, 5 of those in the ICU. I was brought to a place of seeing and then knowing how your life can change forever in an instant revelation of news we all dread to hear. I felt my heart crack wide open as I traveled each step of the recommended path with my beloved friend and observed the compassionate caring of everyone there to help him through the long process. He is finally home and the healing has begun. Nothing is certain in this life, things change constantly and the best we can do is to live and treasure the moments each one at a time. Until next week, dear tea friends…
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” ~Joseph Campbell