Colonial mythology would have the world believe that Scottish explorer Robert Bruce discovered Assam Black Tea in India (as much as one can “discover” anything that millions of people had been farming and using for thousands of years). In actuality, he was simply a tea farmer who set up many successful tea plantations in Assam and was responsible for a majority its marketing and shipment, making Assam one of the most prevalent teas in the world.
Assam teas are named for the northeastern region of India where they are grown; currently Assam’s tea is approximately 55% of India’s total tea production. These tea are usually described as bold, malty, and brisk. Assam teas are often principal members of “breakfast teas,” whether English, Irish, or Scottish. In the United States, many refer to Assam tea as simply “black” tea.
The Assam which we carry is a Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (TGFOP) from the Kondoli Estate, which is known for its consistent leaf quality and exquisite liquor. Wonderfully dark leaves create a copper-colored liquor, which is full-flavored and delicious!
This cup brews brisk and malty, has a rather punchy flavor, and possesses a high dose of caffeine. Londoners who first indulged in it often took it with cream and sugar, though a few diehards enjoyed it black.
For those who are adventurous, we recommend brewing it with a bit of cinnamon and honey.
For brewing instructions, we recommend 3/4 teaspoon for every 8 ounces of water. Start with cold, fresh water. Bring it barely to a rolling boil. Pour the water over the tea and steep for 4 minutes. Do not allow it to steep longer, as it will become bitter.