Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Recent Tea Excursion with Belseri Estate Assam CTC

Have a look at the little tea ball pellets from Belseri Estate! They are all very uniform and tiny, like a tray full of pachinko balls funneling into the shooting lever. I ordered them from Upton Tea last week, with my usual Keemun. Since I haven't done a tea review in a long time, I wanted to make sure I used some good water and gave it a fair chance. I've had a few cups of this at home last week using my very unoxygenated tap water, but today I tried it out at the office, where our water has enough O's with its H's to serve up a bright cup of morning tea! When I opened the bag, there was a nice aroma to it, but it hasn't really sustained so well into my Beehouse tea canister, even though it still smells nice and fresh. The tea did a decent job of foaming at the top of the strainer basket, but there wasn't so much aroma coming from the teapot. There is an absence of the floral scent that good teas have, and it doesn't carry a brisk aroma. It does give off a caramel type scent from the dry leaf and when you bring your cup up for a sip, and the tea has somewhat of a caramel-y smoothness and taste. It has a maltiness that I like, and even though it's not real complex, it has a really nice flavor that makes a good morning or afternoon drinker, holding its weight against milk or sweeteners.

The little balls stay formed after the infusion, and they still smell nice, just not really pungent. Belseri Estate Assam CTC, TA03, is priced low enough to buy a 1/4 pound and really give it some good test runs. I think the smoothness of this tea might be attractive to people who, like me, can find some teas to be a bit too astringent for them. My stomach is oversensitive to everything I eat or drink. But with just a splash of milk, it was relaxed enough for me to drink easily. Its non-complexity does not impede it's ability to produce a appealing flavored cup of tea. I have had more impressive CTCs several times, and I have found myself going back to those that are my favorites. But I think its possible I might get this one again since it is a really nice cup. It seems to lean towards the malty side of the black tea spectrum. I rate this tea with a "thumbs-up" because of its smoothness on the palate, its flavor, drinkability and its ease on the wallet. Happy sipping!

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