Tea and origin: Clonal Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe (CLGFBOP) Assam black tea from the Khongea Estate in the Sivasagar region, India
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.
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:
- 4 grams of tea, 95C water, 250 ml water, 3-minute infusion, no milk
- 4 grams of tea, 95C water, 250 ml water, 5-minute infusion, taken with milk
- 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