Assam tea

Black Tea Review: American Tea Room Kensington

Kensington

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Kensington (English Breakfast Blend)

Category: Black Tea Blend

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Assam, India and Yunnan, China

The Leaves: Dark brown to midnight black leaves with a splash of golden tips. The dried leaves have an inviting sweet-earthy scent.

Additions: None

Flavor: A full-bodied and malty tasting brew with a touch of sweetness and just enough oomph! to get you going in the morning

Overall: Yunnan and Assam are two of my favorite black teas, but I had never thought to combine them. Good thing that the American Tea Room did it for me! This tea blend combines the best of two worlds and makes a rich and luxurious cup of tea.

Tea Review:

Since this English breakfast tea brings together two black teas that I adore, I was kind of expecting fireworks overhead when taking my initial sip. Even though the sky didn’t light-up with splashes of color, I was still dazzled by the combination of flavors.

At first, when the tea was still rather hot, I detected a note of sweetness. Just behind the scenes is a subtle, yet tantalizing flavor of bittersweet chocolate.

As the tea cooled, the maltiness seemed to really kick in, which made my cup even more interesting and enchanting.

The Kensington blend has a nice refreshing finish, just enough astringency to eloquently round out a robust and sumptuous brew. Plus, I love that little tingle on my tongue after each sip!

The overall experience left me feeling rather revitalized and empowered, ready to tackle whatever the day may bring.

American Tea Room Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of the Kensington loose tea, which came in a black bag with colorful label that included steeping directions.

However, one little annoyance with these bags is that they don’t re-seal, but on the plus side they do have a thick foil-lining to keep the tea tasting fresh longer.

Preparation Tips:

On the tea package, it recommended using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of four minutes.

I tried to follow these instructions fairly closely; occasionally I did let the leaves steep a minute longer out of habit, but I didn’t find that it made a significant difference in the taste.

As with most of my recent reviews, I used my six-ounce glass teapot. Since there were no specific directions about the amount of water or loose tea to use, I decided to go with the general guideline of one level teaspoon.

I do recommend using filtered-water, if possible, to allow all the wonderful nuances of this tea to really shine.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – I was able to get two infusions from the Kensington tea. The first was definitely much more robust and the second retained the maltiness of the first infusion, but was mellower tasting.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Kensington tea. Enjoy!

Kensington

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: Adagio Assam Melody

Assam Melody

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Assam Melody

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Assam, India

The Leaves: Cut midnight black leaves with an occasional golden tip

Additions: None

Flavor:  A full-bodied and robust black tea that has a delightful earthy-maltiness

Overall: The Assam Melody makes a wonderful cup of tea suitable for daily consumption. However, it also has enough character to keep things interesting.

Tea Review:

The first thing I notice about this particular brand of Assam is that it reminded me of my coffee drinking days. The combination of earthiness and maltiness come together brilliantly, providing a well-rounded and strong-tasting cup of tea.

What also made this tea quite interesting is that I was able to get two really good infusions from it.

The first infusion tended to have a smooth, full-bodied flavor that leaned more towards malty than biscuity.

I found that the second infusion had a bit more astringency, which was rather energizing. In fact, it gave the tea a little oomph, making it stand-out slightly from the first cup.

When sipping my brew, I find myself thinking of a lush rainforest. There is something about this tea that tastes a bit lavish, yet untamed. It’s as if I have hiked miles into the depths of the jungle to pour myself a proper cup of tea using a dainty teacup with saucer.

This juxtaposition of exotic lushness and refinement keeps me quite entertained to the very last drop. At which point, I find myself wanting more.

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I purchased the sample size of this tea. My order came in a good-sized, foil-lined bag. The name of the tea as well as brewing instructions where provided on the re-sealable pouch.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the instructions on the Adagio bag: 1 teaspoon per cup for 3-5 minutes at 212F.

For my first brewing attempt, I used a stainless steel, mesh ball infuser. This worked fine because the leaves really didn’t need much room to expand since they were cut rather small.

However, I found that when doing more than one infusion, I preferred using my one-serving, glass teapot.

I actually discovered that by using this particular infusion tool the flavor of the tea was enhanced. Perhaps, because it gave the leaves more room to expand.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – As I mentioned above, I was able to get two good infusions from the Assam Melody. Here’s how I did it: I steeped the leaves for about 2 to 3 minutes for the first infusion. For the second infusion, I gave the leaves a nice long steep of about five minutes.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: English Tea Store Assam TGFOP

ETS Assam TGFOP

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Assam TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)

Tea Category:  Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: India

The Leaves: The leaves are dark brown to black in color with a few golden colored tips

Additions: None 

Flavor: A smooth, earthy and robust black tea with a comforting biscuity/malty flavor, and just a touch of sweetness

Overall: 4.0/5

This was my first time tasting a loose leaf Assam and I really enjoyed the experience. It is one I plan to repeat a zillion times over!

Packaging:

In the Estate Teas sampler pack I had ordered, I received a one-ounce sample of the Assam TGFOP. My sample was mailed in a thick-plastic, simple black and re-sealable pouch with white label. The label indicated the name of the tea, but did not include brewing instructions.

Disappointingly, two of the teas advertised were not sent. However, I did get duplicates of two other teas to compensate for the difference.  In addition, the sampler webpage does state: “substitutions may be made according to availability.” Not to mention the incredible value I received from ordering the sample pack; I got 8 ounces of tea for eight bucks!

Tea Review:

The aroma of the brew brought to mind warmed tortillas; a pleasurable fragrance that invited me to take my first sip.

There is a nice earthy-robustness to the brew that is enhanced by a biscuity flavor that I have not experienced before. I say biscuity rather than malty because the taste reminds me of warm dough. Overall, I found this dough-like quality comforting and engaging.

Then, there is a just touch of sweetness. Lastly, the finish is smooth and leaves me wanting more.

Preparation Tips:

I could not find steeping directions for the Assam TGFOP on the English Tea Store’s website, but the Estate Teas sampler pack webpage recommends: “For the best brew, these teas should steep in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 2 to 5 minutes.”

Because there were no tips on how much tea or water to use, I went with the general guideline of one teaspoon of tea per cup of boiling water. Next, I allowed the leaves to steep for about 4 minutes using a T-Sac paper filter.

Vendor Provided Sample: No 

Affiliate Links: No

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Amy

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

If you’d like to purchase this tea from the English Tea Store just click the button below. Enjoy!

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