New FeatureHi! Welcome or welcome back! If you're a regular reader, you know we love tea. Hot, iced, plain, sweet, unsweet, with milk, without. A tasty beverage! And we love to try new blends and share our reviews. Type "tea review" in the magic search box and see how many we've tried over the past 4 years.
Anyway, I was thinking we throw around a lot of tea words and we're not even sure what all of them mean. So we brainstormed a new post topic and series. On What's What Wednesdays one of us will break down one jargon word for you. Let's start with Assam.
AssamHonestly, I only know Assam as a type of tea, so I got out the laptop and searched some of our favorites for information. The Tea Maestro, TeaTime Magazine, Joseph Wesley, Harney and Sons, The Republic of Tea, and Teapigs. The last two didn't quite have what I needed; the first two (giggles) Mr. Richardson submits his work to TeaTime, so they are the same; the middle two added a bit extra.
It turns out Assam is a place. A part of India; the upper right or northeastern corner near China. If you look at the map, you can see a river runs through it.
Assam is known for its wildlife, archaeological sites, and, of course, its tea plantations. Hey, check this out! Assam is the largest tea growing region in the world. The tea found there comes from the camellia sinensis assamica plant. In many cases the tea is harvested by hand.
The tea is picked, dried, and fermented and is one of the most notable black teas. Blenders like its rich, malty flavor as a base; you'll find Assam tea in blends like English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast. You'll also find it in a lot of basic tea bags. It is mellow and slightly sweet. Steeping time ranges from 4-6 minutes depending on how strong you want it and if you plan to add milk.
In fact, it's perfect if you like to add milk, but don't add cream it's too heavy and can mask the taste of a good tea.
Speaking of milk...do you add it? Do you add it before or after pouring out? (giggles) That's a serious debate among tea drinkers. For the record, we've been known to do both depending on time.
I hope this new post series helps you understand our reviews better.