Elegant styling marks this very special Assam tea. We recently discovered this delicious tea among a grouping of 2nd Flush Assam teas that we were tasting, hoping to find at least one, or if lucky, a few treasures. The group consisted of TGFOP grade, mid-size to long leaf, which is rarely produced in Assam today. We were lucky that day, and did find several excellent Assam Estate-grown teas to add to our selection, but this, the offering of a special reserve lot from Duflating Estate, is the gem.
What is particularly impressive about this Assam tea is the simplicity of its overall style. As with the great cuisines of the world, quite often focused execution and simple flavors yield the tastiest results. Our Duflating Estate 2nd Flush Assam tea is straightforward and classic. There is just enough full-bodiness to make the tea rich tasting, and this body is in balance with the overall flavor components. The taste itself is super classic: clean and straightforward, malty and interestingly complex, never burdensome or busy.
The aroma of Tea Trekker’s Duflating Assam tea is very clean and refreshing. It has hints of celery and light, fresh-vegetable notes. It brings you in rather than stops you dead in your tracks.
The dry leaf is a bit lighter in color than many Assam black teas, and has a nice, very evenly-twisted (or rolled) aspect to it. The techniques employed in the manufacture of this leaf were top-notch and the result is elegant. The sizing is even and the leaves are long and thin. The wet leaf shows a nice twist even after the initial steeping. The amount of golden tips in the leaf is substantial and adds smoothness to the steeped liquor.
The steeped tea’s liquor is a clear, medium red amber and almost sparkles a little, which is unusual for an Assam black tea. This is likely due to the many tips that are visible in the dry leaf.
We would recommend that our Duflating Assam is primarily a ‘self-drinker’, however if one likes to add milk we would recommend ‘regular’ or ‘whole’ milk with not too low or high a fat content (no skim or full cream) and a light pour at that. But however you like it is how you should drink it!
The cost for this highly-regarded estate’s 2nd Flush Assam teas this year was very high. World-wide demand is considerable, especially given the high quality of the leaf. We were asked to pay more than we have ever paid for an Assam tea for this lot, and we did so willingly – this tea is that good, and we sincerely believe that it is worth every penny of what it costs. You should definitely try re-steeping the leaf. This will ‘half’ the cost of the leaf and place it as possibly the bargain of the year.