Review of Abhilex Assam Spring Organic Artisanal Black

9 of 104 of 54 of 591 of 100
SuperbGoodGood Value

A mellow, earthy tea that was comforting like wrapping up in an old blanket, and reminded me of dark white teas. Drinking this it almost seems to take me back in time. I am loving sampling the black teas from TEAORB; they sent me a bunch of samples and I have been enjoying the black teas more than the greens.

Dry leaf consists of very dark, wholly intact, wiry leaves, and has a very strong aroma of autumn leaves. It's so distinct, it actually makes me think of being a kid and playing in piles of leaves. There are fruity notes too, a hint of that overripe fruit smell, a lot like the Zaroni Assam. TEAORB describes this as "pungent" but I wouldn't describe it that way. It was a little dirty smelling though, with a hint of a "barnyard" quality.

The brewed cup is surprisingly resembling of a shou mei white tea, and rather unlike most black teas. Both the aromatic profile and mouthfeel reminds me of shou mei: there's a fragrance of autumn leaves, caramel, and a hint of overripe fruit. There's also an astringency that reminds me more of white teas than black teas. There's also something wine-like about the cup...a sort of sharpness...both the aroma and mouthfeel remind me a bit of wine.

I resteeped and the second cup was a lot different from what I'd expect. It was thinner, but aromatically more interesting. It smelled fruitier and less like autumn leaves, and there were notes of spice that I didn't notice. Even with a much longer steep, it was slightly less astringent than the first, 3-minute steep. The combination of thinner body and higher astringency confused me but it was still enjoyable.

Good and interesting but not quite as satisfying as some Assams. Seems only mildly caffeinated. This would make a great afternoon tea for a cold day; I wouldn't want to start the day with it though. I felt very mellowed out and relaxed after drinking this. The price is good, this tea names up to the "artisanal" label in its name, and worth paying a bit more for.

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