#4 Hattialli Golden Bud, 2009 Second Flush
Dry Leaf: Assam, no mistaking it. A deep darker straw/hay scent.
Wet Leaf: Assam, malty and bold. A hint of a sour.
Brewed: Assertive flavor up front of Assam which has a lot happening in the middle, they flash by quickly so it will take more than one tasting to peg this one. That’s a good thing, I like a challenge and something that makes me come back a few times before giving up it’s secrets.
I’m not normally one for Assam outside of maybe with some raw sugar when I’m at a cafe and nothing else really speaks to me. I was surprised by this one, the smell of the leaf seems to scream standard Assam, but one sip of the richly dark liquor reveals that there are a few layers to dig through before the old standby Assam notes finally show up. They do go by quickly, as I’ve stated, so one could happily drink this at just face value and be perfectly happy with the fairly bold, slightly honey sweet, tiny touch bitter and astringent tea. But with a little attention it has more to offer. Thoughts of a favorite wine, or a satisfying meal, conjure up but can’t be caught. I could see this as a good vessel for some sugar and milk, but not to mask anything or to tame an unruly or overly strong cup but more in harmony with the actual nature of the tea itself. It’s soft but bold enough to demand notice.