Friday, 1 August 2008

Assam Dimakusi CTCBOP

I’ve been drinking a fair bit of this over the last few days – it has become my work staple black tea. It’s a CTC (cut-tear-curl) broken leaf tea which I purchased a few weeks ago from The Tea Centre (the picture below is originally from their website).

The Tea Centre website describes this as a ‘dark, malty, strong’ tea. I am not 100% sure about the ‘malty’ bit myself, not being much of a seasoned taster, but it is certainly strong, in any case, producing a lovely dark red cup. I particularly like the look of the leaves after they’ve been steeped – they have the colour of red soil after heavy rain.

Another description comes from Imperial Teas, which describes it as having ‘a doughy note to its aroma with a heavy and spicy taste.’ I think I see what they mean, but again with my limited palette I’m not entirely sure. Clearly, a great deal more testing is required, and I am of course willing to make this sacrifice for my loyal readers.

That said, this is not one of the best teas I’ve ever had – I prefer something a bit more flowery and fresh tasting. I don’t know if it’s because this is machine-processed, but I feel that it lacks subtlety. It’s not terribly astringent, though (although I tend to brew mine a bit short of the 4 to 5 minutes recommended by Imperial Teas), and takes a bit of milk and a little sugar quite well. At least partly for this reason, it would probably be a good ‘transitional’ tea for people who are trying to wean themselves off supermarket teabags and on to something better.
One last note which I should make is that - as I found having left some of this tea to go cold on my desk while I was at a meeting - the Dimakusi is possibly better cold than hot. The flavour seems sharper and clearer. I will keep this one in mind for when summer (eventually) comes back!

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