Assams and Goblins

Posted on January 06 2010


This update was supposed to be about black tea grading and “Flushes” but then I realized today was Goblin day and that Flushes and grading could wait so I’m starting my Assam tasting and writing about that and goblins.

January 6th is Epiphany aka Goblin Day in the Greek Orthodox World. The lore goes that the Goblins live under the world and spend all year long sawing away at the post that holds the world up. 40 days before Epiphany all the lovely smells of cooking for the holidays lure them away and they come up to steel food, mess up laundry lines, hide your remote control and otherwise continue to wreck havoc. Today one must perform a goblin exorcism to get rid of them for the year.

The exorcism involves “lokumades” a syrupy Greek specialty, although we’ve found donut holes to be a serviceable alternative. You go outside your house, friend’s house, neighbor’s house, office building, armed with said donut holes and say: Mistin mitsin lukaniko, masheri mavromanico, kommati xerotiano, na fate tzie na fiete. This roughly translates to “A tiny pit of sausage, a black handles knife a piece of lokuma (donut hole) eat and go away”. I’ve been asked many a time about the lack of sausage and black handled knives but it seems it’s enough to say the things without producing them. Then you hurl the donuts on the roof. The goblins take them and return underground where the post that holds the world has re-grown to its former size and they have to start all over again.

If your house has been unusually messy, you’ve been misplacing things that you thought were just there or your pets have been acting weird you more than likely have an infestation of goblins and I suggest you do something about it. You can try chanting the translated version of the Goblin spell but I’m not sure they speak English. At the very least go get some donuts.

In case you don’t live in Florida and you don’t know it’s freezing here this week; it’s freezing here this week. When it finally gets cold-ish here I always get home sick for mum’s milky, strong English type teas and Assam’s are excellent examples of the type. We currently stock four of them at Tea and Chi and since I’ve been long winded today I’ll just talk about the actual tasting and write about what Assams are tomorrow.

Assam, Royal Gold, Mohokutie: The elegant looking leaf is full of tips and has a warm, delicious aroma. The taste is warm and smooth, bisquity with a sweet, almost honey note with a long finish. The liquor is  gold colored. Adding milk to this was a big mistake. The body just isn’t heavy enough to hold the milk well and all the nuances of the tea just disappeared.

Assam Mangalam, Tippy Superb: The leaf is practically identical in looks to the Royal Gold and perhaps a bit more aromatic. It brews slightly redder than the Royal Gold and is more astringent and perhaps a bit brighter. Not as complex a flavour, pleasant with a bit of spice. The addition of milk made it taste a bit thin. Overall I feel the Royal Gold is much better value for the money.

Assam STGFOP-1, Harmutty: Fewer tips, nicely sorted leaf, not as aromatic. Coppery-red brew, smooth but bold flavour with light astringency. Well rounded flavour with good body. Lovely with a spot of milk.

Assam GFBOP, Rembeng: Broken leaf, very few tips with a robust, spicy aroma. Richer and stronger than any of the others, copper red liquor with a smooth, rich, spicy, bisquity flavour. A splash of milk really made me think o mum’s tea.

More soon on Assams and tea grading.


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