TEA REVIEW: Canton Tea Co – Khongea Assam Gold

IMG_6211
Tea and origin: Clonal Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe (CLGFBOP) Assam black tea from the Khongea Estate in the Sivasagar region, India
Twitter: @cantontea
Facebook: Canton Tea Co
Link to Khongea Assam Gold

Canton Tea Co is expanding the number of Assam and Darjeeling teas they stock. This Khongea Assam Gold, which Won the North American Tea Championships Assam category 2014, is one of their newest additions. The family-run Khongea Estate was first recommended to Canton Tea Co by tea expert and historian Jane Pettigrew.

Khongea Assam Gold is a clonal tea that comes from the Panetola126 clone. The Panetola126 clone is known for the golden tips it produces. The dry leaf of this tea looks stunning, and it is easy to understand how it got this reputation.

For more information about Khongea Assam Gold, check out Canton Tea Co’s blog post.

Tasting notes

Dry leaf: Broken leaves that have golden tips scattered throughout

Wet leaf: Malty and sweet

Liquor colour: Light brown to amber

Liquor aroma: Vegetal (grassy), a bit malty and hints of vanilla

Liquor flavour: The liquor is spicy and sweet. It has a moderate amount of                                                         astringency that gives the liquor a dry body, finish and aftertaste.  The                                   liquor, however, is clean and refreshing. When drunk with milk,                                               sweet, chocolate-like notes come out

Infusion method: A glass or ceramic teapot                                                                                                                     3 to 5 grams of tea                                                                                                                                 250 ml of 95C water                                                                                                                             Infuse 45 seconds to 5 minutes                                                                                                           1 to 2 infusions

Comments/Conclusions

I love Assam teas that have complexity and can be taken with or without milk. This Assam does just the trick.

When reviewing any tea that has a lot of potential, I like to push the tea hard and try various infusion times as well as how much tea I use. I tried three different infusion methods:

  1. 4 grams of tea, 95C water, 250 ml water, 3-minute infusion, no milk
  2. 4 grams of tea, 95C water, 250 ml water, 5-minute infusion, taken with milk
  3. 5 to 6 grams of tea, 90 to 95C water, 250 ml water, 45-second infusion (1 minute for second infusion), no milk

For me, infusion methods 2 and 3 were clear winners. With method 1, the liquor was too dry, but this infusion revealed that the tea is loaded with complex flavours. Infusing it hard and adding a bit of milk, as I did in method 2, drew out some sweet, chocolatey notes, and the liquor didn’t seem as dry. And then infusing it quickly with more leaf, as I did in method 3, made the liquor feel less dry and pulled out some of its sweeter notes. This method also meant that I could get two solid infusions out of the tea. If you buy this tea, have some fun and find how you like to make it.

This Assam could prove to be divisive amongst Assam lovers – especially amongst those who want a malty Assam. I do think it would appeal to people who like Ceylon teas, as its vegetal aroma and clean, fresh liquor might be a draw. It is priced as an everyday tea, but I think it offers complexity that you would find in more expensive teas.

Retail price: 50 gram bag for £5 / 250 gram bag for £23

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About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
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