The generosity of the folks at Arbor Teas is appreciated greatly.
Thank you for providing so many samples.
Again, as with most teas from Arbor, this one is organic and Fairtrade.
It is relevant to me because I am writing yet another research article about Fairtrade, so stay tuned if you would like to spend the time to read a few pages of research.
I am a proponent of Fairtrade and do what I can to promote and defend the organization. They have had to deal with bombardments of scrutiny from critics that is unnecessary and unjust.
This tea is from the Rembeng estate in Assam, and carries the grade of TGFOP...(Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
This tea is properly graded, as you can see by the scattered amount of golden (and perhaps a bit of silver) buds within the dry leaf.
As with most Assam teas, this one has quite the malty aroma, along with wood and grain. Some people describe this malty/grain aroma as cereal, but I would not want any readers thinking that this tea smells of Cheerios or Fruity Pebbles.
The liquor is unsurprisingly heavily laden with malt, but maple and buttered toast arrive on the scene.
Any tea that smells of buttered toast should definitely be consumed during breakfast.
The first sip reveals the brisk nature of this tea. A citrus note (more tart) plays on the palate for a short while.
A favorable astringency followed by a cereal flavor follows.
To round this tea out; sweet maple.
This tea is well balanced, bright, clean and quite refreshing.
I wouldn't suggest adding milk, in part because I am a purist, but mostly due to the fact that it would not blend well with the bright citrus (tart) quality of this tea.
Assam teas are not complex and do not call for too much time or description.
They are blunt, arrogant and will treat one well if treated well themselves.