A quick note here about Peet’s: I get the majority of my teas from Peet’s because I think they are exceptionally good and they are located conveniently near me. They have all of their teas out in little jars so I can look at and smell them, so I don’t have to ask anyone to do so, and they package their teas in tins, which is how I prefer them. However, even though I promote their teas here, I am not employed by Peet’s nor am I on their payroll in any capacity. That’s my official disclaimer.
Assam refers to a tea growing region in India. An interesting note here is that Assam teas are used in various tea blends around the world, one of which is Irish Breakfast tea, which happens to be one of my favorites. Assam is a strong black tea that is made for adding milk (and sugar, if you like, although personally I think it ruins the tea). According to the New Tea Lover’s Treasury by James Norwood Pratt it is the most popular tea in the world. (151-152)
The tea tin describes Assam Extra Fancy as a “malty, lively, full-bodied and complex taste with lots of depth,” which sounded like a perfect cup of breakfast tea to me. The tea is dark brown with flecks of gold. I smell the malty notes in the dried leaves as well as in the brewed cup. It brews up a cup that is dark enough to be mistaken for coffee. The flavor is hearty and bold and rich, and I taste the malty notes in the first couple sips without milk. After adding milk it reduces the astringency considerably and makes it a smooth, full-flavored cup of tea. If you are a coffee drinker I think you would appreciate this tea. I don’t know why I don’t have this in my regular rotation. Now this is a cup of tea!
You can get it here: http://www.peets.com/shop/tea_detail.asp?id=93&cid=2001