Review of Bhai Bhai Assam Spring Organic Artisanal Black

9 of 104 of 55 of 589 of 100

This tea is somewhere between exotic and bizarrre, but I really enjoyed it. Thank you TEAORB for the sample! Like a good book or song, I notice new qualities in it each time I experience it.

The dry leaf, which consists of long, intact leaves, tightly rolled, with a curly and crinkly shape, has a smoky and vegetal aroma, and some aromatic notes that I've only encountered yet in the Assam green teas. There's a hint of camphor in the aroma, like some green (sheng) Pu-erh teas. The smell suggests a tea with a strong savory quality. It's strange, unlike any black tea I've ever sampled, and more like greene tea. I'm very curious to try this one.

Brewing this tea brings a surprise...a potent wintergreen aroma, one of my favorite qualities in a black tea! The cup is very complex though, and the wintergreen aroma sinks into the background. There are fruity, smoky, and vegetal notes, and a hint of camphor. Tastes more like green tea (a Chinese, smoky green tea) than any other black tea I've tried. Floral, but in the way that green teas are floral more than the way black teas are, but with notes of malt and dried fruit that I only normally encounter in black teas (especially Assams). The cup smells a bit like a scented candle; there's something warming, even fiery about it. Slightly harsher than some black teas, a little of that unpleasant astringency that many of the green Assams have.

The second cup is weird, initially has a slightly off aroma, but this vanishes. Very yunnan-like, vegetal and with a distinctive peppery finish like Yunnan teas. Very savory / umami. Thick body and full flavor, moderate astringency, but only light bitterness. Some floral notes. A bit Pu-erh like.

I recommend this one especially to Pu-erh lovers. It's not for someone who wants a traditional or Western-style black tea, however. The price seems very good, especially for something unusual like this.

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