Assam tea is the superstar of black teas, known all around the globe. I mean, who hasn’t heard of it, right?
Whether you’re sipping it hot to kickstart your morning or pouring it over ice on a sunny day, Assam tea just hits the spot.
So, if you’re looking for an everyday tea that’s got that bold and hearty flavor, Assam is definitely the way to go.
Now, you might be wondering, “How can I make the perfect cup of Assam tea?“
Well, that is what I’m here for to help you brew your first ever (or probably not the last) cup of Assam tea.
Whether you’re a tea novice or a seasoned sipper, brewing Assam tea is a breeze.
What Is Assam Tea?
Assam tea comes from a plant called Camellia sinensis var. assamica, grown in the lush lands of Assam, India’s northeastern beauty. You won’t believe it, but almost half of all the tea in India sprouts right there.
Assam is a black tea, fully oxidized and ready to impress your taste buds. It’s the espresso of teas, packing more caffeine than many other black teas.
Have you heard of Irish Breakfast or English Breakfast tea? Well, Assam is a part of these black teas, adding that robust kick to the blends.
When you brew Assam Tea, get ready to gaze at a rich orangish-brown potion. A true feast for your eyes and senses. But the magic doesn’t stop there!
This black beauty from India is not just a solo artist; it’s a fantastic team player too.
It is bold, strong, and unafraid of challenges, especially when it teams up with milk and spices.
Assam has this wonderful secret – it’s not as astringent as some of its black tea types.
Some people even say it’s got a hint of honey and malt in its flavor. Doesn’t that sound like a dream?
Not only that, Assam black tea is like a superstar in the bubble tea world. It’s the cool base that makes those delightful bubbles even more irresistible.
So, next time you sip on some bubble tea, remember, Assam can be the unsung hero behind the scenes.
What You Need to Make Assam Tea
Here’s a mini guide on what you need to make a bold cup of Assam tea.
Assam Tea Leaves
I prefer high-quality loose leaf Assam tea.
You can choose between different grades like Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (TGFOP) or Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) based on your taste preference.
Remember, fresher tea leaves will result in a more flavorful cup.
You have a few options for sourcing Assam tea:
Loose Leaf Assam Tea: Loose leaf tea gives the leaves more room to expand during brewing, resulting in a fuller flavor.
Assam Tea Bags: If you’re looking for convenience, tea bags are a great choice.
They contain pre-measured portions of tea, making the brewing process quick and easy. Just drop a tea bag into your cup, pour hot water, and let it steep.
Tea Pellets or Pearls: These are tightly rolled tea leaves that unfurl during brewing. They offer a unique experience as you watch them bloom and release their flavors.
The quality of water affects the taste of your tea. Use fresh, filtered water to avoid any unwanted flavors from tap water.
Adding a touch of milk to your Assam tea can create a delightful creaminess that complements the bold flavors.
The choice of adding milk or not is entirely up to you and your preference. It adds a velvety layer to your tea experience.
Sugar or Sweetener
Sweetness is a personal touch. If you prefer your tea on the sweeter side, adding a spoonful of sugar or honey can balance out the strong Assam flavor.
It gives a sweet embrace that harmonizes with the tea’s intensity.
Teapot or Teacup with Infuser
A teapot or teacup with an infuser is a great starting point. It allows the tea leaves to unfurl and release their flavors fully.
You can choose between a traditional teapot or a modern teacup with built-in infuser based on your preference.
I personally love using a teapot because it gives me more control over the steeping process.
Water Boiler or Kettle
Boiling water is crucial for brewing tea, so a reliable water boiler or kettle is a must.
Opt for one with temperature settings to ensure you’re using the right temperature for Assam tea (around 200°F or 93°C).
Tea Timer or Stopwatch
Steeping time is essential to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
A tea timer or stopwatch can help you keep track of how long you’ve steeped your tea.
For Assam tea, a steeping time of 3-5 minutes is generally ideal.
Tea Cozy or Warmer (optional)
If you’re using a teapot, a tea cozy or warmer can help keep your tea hot for a more extended period, allowing you to enjoy multiple cups without worrying about the tea getting cold.
Tea Accessories (optional)
You might also consider adding some optional accessories to improve your tea experience.
A tea strainer can be handy if you’re using a teapot without an infuser.
Additionally, a tea thermometer can help you ensure the water temperature is just right.
Assam Tea Hot or Cold?
Assam tea – that robust, malty goodness – is a staple in my tea collection. Now, when it comes to whether to have it hot or cold, well, it really depends on the mood and the weather.
On a chilly morning, there’s nothing quite like cradling a steaming mug of Assam tea. The bold, robust flavors of Assam tea seem to burst forth.
That’s why I find that hot Assam tea can truly invigorate me for the day ahead.
Conversely, on a scorching summer afternoon, the idea of sipping a piping hot beverage might not be so appealing.
This is when I turn to cold-brewed Assam tea.
I recall one particularly sweltering day when I decided to experiment with brewing Assam tea and then chilling it. The result? A revelation!
The chilled Assam tea tastes so refreshing, with its brisk and malty notes dancing on palate. It gives a cool breeze in a glass, instantly revitalizing and quenching your thirst.
So, in a nutshell, I find that hot Assam tea is perfect for those crisp mornings when I need a hearty pick-me-up, while cold-brewed Assam tea is my go-to for beating the heat and staying refreshed.
How to Make Iced Assam Tea
Making Iced Assam Tea is quite easy and refreshing. I’ve a simple recipe for you that’s sure to quench your thirst on a hot day.
Here’s what you’ll need
- Assam Tea Leaves: About 2 tablespoons (adjust to your taste preference).
- Water: 4 cups.
- Sweetener (optional): Sugar, honey, or any sweetener you like.
- Lemon slices or mint leaves for garnish.
Make Iced Assam Tea
- Boil the Water: Start by bringing the 4 cups of water to a boil. I usually use a kettle for this.
- Steep the Tea: Once the water is boiling, add the Assam tea leaves to a teapot or a heatproof pitcher. Pour the hot water over the leaves. Let the tea steep for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Sweeten to Taste: If you like your tea sweet, you can add sugar or honey while the tea is still warm. Stir well to make sure it’s dissolved.
- Cooling Down: Allow the tea to cool down to room temperature. You can leave it on the kitchen counter while you take a moment to relax.
- Chill in the Fridge: Once the tea has cooled, pop it into the fridge.
- Serve with Style: When you’re ready to enjoy, fill a glass with ice cubes and pour in the chilled Assam tea. I love adding a slice of lemon or a few mint leaves for that extra touch.
- Sip and Savor: Now comes the best part – take a sip of your homemade Iced Assam Tea. The satisfaction of making it yourself and the burst of flavor are truly wonderful!
Variations of Assam Tea (Drinks to Make with Assam Tea)
Assam tea is a wonderful base for various drinks. Here are some simple variations you can try:
Creamy Assam Milk Tea: Make strong Assam tea and add warm milk. If you like it sweet, put in some sugar or honey. Enjoy this smooth tea on a calm afternoon.
Spiced Assam Chai: Brew Assam tea and add spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. Boil it with milk and sweeten as you prefer. Get ready for a fragrant and tasty chai.
Fresh Lemon Twist: Brew Assam tea, then squeeze in lemon juice. It’s a zingy and refreshing choice, perfect when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Assam Tea Latte Treat: Brew Assam tea and froth some milk. Mix them together and maybe add a bit of vanilla or caramel syrup for an extra flavor kick.
Green Tea Fusion: Brew Assam tea and let it cool. Mix it with chilled green tea and toss in some mint leaves. You’ve got a revitalizing combo!
Fruity Infusion: Brew Assam tea and add slices of your favorite fruits like orange, peach, or apple. It’s a naturally sweet and fruity mix.
Honey Herbal Soothe: Brew Assam tea and stir in honey while it’s warm. Add in a herbal tea bag like chamomile or lavender for extra comfort.
Iced Spiced Delight: Brew Assam tea, let it chill, and add a pinch of spices like cloves or nutmeg. Pour over ice for a refreshing twist.
Minty Fresh Refresher: Let Assam tea cool down and toss in some fresh mint leaves. Enjoy the cool and revitalizing taste.
Berry Boost: Brew Assam tea and chill it. Mix in a splash of berry juice, like raspberry or blackberry. A slightly sweet and tangy delight awaits you.
Factors That Affect the Flavor of Assam Tea
The flavor of Assam tea is influenced by a bunch of things, and I’m here to share them with you.
- Where It’s Grown: The flavor of Assam tea is influenced by where it’s grown. Assam, India, is the main region, and its climate gives the tea a strong taste.
- The Weather: The weather matters. Rain and temperature affect how tea leaves grow. Rainy seasons can make the tea mellow.
- Type of Tea Plant: The type of tea plant used matters. Assam tea comes from Camellia sinensis var. assamica, known for a bold flavor.
- How It’s Processed: Processing matters. Assam tea is fully oxidized, intensifying its rich flavor. Drying the leaves in the sun is part of this.
- Size of the Tea Leaves: The size of leaves matters. Bigger leaves usually mean a stronger flavor, while smaller ones can be smoother.
- Brewing Time: Brewing time affects taste. Steeping Assam tea too long can make it bitter.
- Adding Milk and Sugar: Adding milk and sugar changes the flavor. They can tone down the strong taste of Assam tea.
Assam Tea Food Pairing
Certainly, here are some food pairing ideas for Assam tea, shared from my own experiences:
1. Biscuits and Pastries
I find Assam tea wonderfully complements the flavors of buttery biscuits and flaky pastries.
Its strong and rich taste pairs delightfully with the sweetness and textures of these treats.
I enjoy dipping a buttery cookie into my cup or sipping alongside a fruit-filled pastry for a lovely combination.
2. Breakfast Delights
When looking for a hearty breakfast, Assam tea is my top choice.
It goes really well with classic morning dishes like scrambled eggs, sausages, and crispy bacon.
Its boldness balances out the richness of these items, making for a satisfying and flavorful start to the day.
3. Spicy Foods
Assam tea has robust and malty profile that makes it a great partner for spicy foods.
You can drink it with a plate of flavorful curry, savory samosas or zesty stir-fried dishes.
4. Cheese and Crackers
As a cheese lover, I’ve discovered Assam tea is a delightful match for various cheeses and crisp crackers.
Its strong flavor complements the savory notes of aged cheeses. The slight bitterness offers a yummy contrast to the creamy textures.
5. Chocolate Treats
For dessert, I enjoy savoring Assam tea alongside chocolate treats like brownies, chocolate cake, or even chocolate truffles.
Assam tea’s bold taste cuts through the sweetness of chocolate very well.
6. Savory Sandwiches
When craving a savory meal, Assam tea is an excellent choice to pair with sandwiches like grilled cheese, roast beef, or ham and cheese.
Its strong flavor holds up well against the sandwich fillings and adds a refreshing touch to each mouthful.
7. Light Salads
On lighter days, I like to enjoy Assam tea with fresh salads. Its astringency helps balance the flavors of the greens and vinaigrette.
You can take a sip of Assam tea while enjoying a spinach salad with tangy goat cheese and a light vinaigrette.
8. Scones and Clotted Cream
For a classic English tea time, Assam tea pairs wonderfully with freshly baked scones and clotted cream. Its full-bodied character goes with the richness of the cream and the crumbly texture of the scones.
9. Nutty Snacks
Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews make fantastic companions to Assam tea. I enjoy how the nutty flavors blend with its robust profile and makes a satisfying and crunchy snack option.
10. Grilled Meats
When in the mood for something hearty like grilled steak or barbecue, Assam tea fits the bill perfectly. Its strong flavor goes well with the smoky and savory notes of the meats.
When to Drink Assam Tea
I find that there are a few good times that work best for me.
First thing in the morning is a great time to have a cup of Assam tea. Its strong and rich flavor helps wake me up and get my day started on the right foot.
I also like to have a cup of Assam tea during my afternoon break. It gives me a little boost of energy to help me power through the rest of the day.
Sometimes, if I’m feeling a bit tired in the late afternoon, a cup of Assam tea can really perk me up without making it hard for me to sleep later.
I’ve noticed that Assam tea goes well with breakfast too. It’s a bold and robust tea that pairs nicely with hearty morning foods like eggs and toast.
The strong taste of Assam tea can stand up to the flavors of a morning meal.
However, I try to avoid drinking Assam tea too close to bedtime. Since it does have a good amount of caffeine, it might make it a bit tricky to fall asleep if I have it too late in the evening.
So, I usually stick to drinking it earlier in the day.
To sum it up, I enjoy Assam tea in the morning to kickstart my day, during my afternoon break for a little pick-me-up, and even with breakfast for a flavorful combination.
Just remember to be mindful of the caffeine content and try not to have it too late if you want a good night’s sleep.
Assam Tea RecipeCourse: DrinksCuisine: Indian
This recipe shows how to make Assam tea step-by-step.
1 cup of Water
1 teaspoon of Assam Tea Leaves
Sugar to taste
Optional: Milk to taste
- Boil the Water: Start by bringing 1 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Add the Assam Tea Leaves: Once the water is boiling, add 1 teaspoons of Assam tea leaves.
- Steep the Tea: Allow the tea leaves to steep in the boiling water for about 5 minutes at around 95°C to 100°C.
- Strain the Tea: Use a strainer to separate the tea leaves from the liquid.
- Sweeten and Serve: Add sugar to taste, stir until dissolved, and serve hot. If you prefer, add a splash of milk for a creamier beverage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long to boil Assam tea?
Boiling Assam tea for about 3 to 5 minutes is usually a good rule of thumb. This helps to extract the flavors and aroma fully.
Does Assam tea have caffeine?
Yes, Assam tea does contain caffeine. It’s a type of black tea, and black teas generally have a higher caffeine content compared to other tea types.
Why is Assam tea so strong?
Assam tea is known for its strength due to the specific tea plant varietal and the region it’s grown in. The Assam region’s climate and soil conditions contribute to the tea leaves’ robust flavor.
The tea plants in Assam also contain more tannins and natural compounds, which lead to the strong and bold taste.
Why is Assam tea famous in the world?
Assam tea is famous worldwide because of its distinct and bold flavor. The tea’s unique characteristics come from the Assam region of India, which is one of the largest tea producers globally.
Which Assam tea is the strongest?
Assam CTC is the strongest tea. Among the various grades of Assam tea, those labeled as “tippy” or “golden tips” tend to be the strongest in terms of flavor. These teas are made from young leaves and buds, which contribute to their intense and rich taste.
What is CTC Assam tea?
CTC stands for “Crush, Tear, Curl,” which is a processing method used for many Assam teas. This method involves crushing the tea leaves into small particles, which results in a strong brew with a quick infusion time.
Is Assam tea a real tea?
Yes, Assam tea is indeed a real tea. It’s a type of black tea produced from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.