Tag Archives: assam

Our Guide to Assam Teas & Gardens Is Here at Last!

Well, dear humans, months and months of work by my ‘she’ human have finally resulted in the completion of our Guide to Assam Teas & Gardens. Assam tea is our favorite here. Two we like to keep in stock are Lochan Gold from Lochan Tea Ltd. and Bihu Bold from Shona’s Assam Tea. I steeped up plenty of each to keep my ‘she’ human alert as she worked through the night and into the wee hours of the morning.

This guide goes far beyond anything previously posted on this site and includes an extensive (but possibly not complete) list of the tea gardens as well as information on some of the top tea companies. You will also see information on how the tea leaves are processed and tips on preparing.

Click on the image below to go to the guide, and happy reading. TOOOT!

© 2018-2022 World Is a Tea Party photos and text

Hi, humans, this site is under my editorial excellence. I, your lovable and sassy Little Yellow Teapot, authors articles on tea, etc., and edit the occasional guest article. All in the interest of helping you humans have a better tea experience. TOOOT!

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Exploring the Nahorhabi Assam Tea Garden – A Little Yellow Teapot Report

Having had the recent pleasure of helping my humans try a sample of tea from the Nahorhabi tea garden, and having found it quite satisfactory, I also wanted to take a bit of a virtual tour of the garden to see what could be seen. Come along with me, dear tea loving humans. TOOOT! Continue reading Exploring the Nahorhabi Assam Tea Garden – A Little Yellow Teapot Report

From Little Acorns … the Start of My Passion for Indian Spiced Chai

From a little acorn, figuratively speaking, my passion for Indian spiced chai grew. Unlike the mighty oak that grows slowly, my thirst for this tasty version of hot tea grew quickly. Read on to see the tale of that acorn, where it came from, and how it grew!

You go around spreading acorns everyday, usually without even realizing or intending it. Well, years ago in a galaxy far, far away…uh, I mean, in an Indian restaurant in Washington, DC, I had joined a group of friends for lunch. Little did I know that the acorn of my passion for spiced chai would be planted in my brain. But it was and here’s how:

We were ordering our drinks and I had requested a diet soda (back when such beverages were still on my list of allowed potables). One of the folks at the table suggested that I try the spiced chai instead (officially, it’s “masala chai”). He said that since I liked tea with milk and sweetener and spicy foods (my fondness for preparing my own homemade curry was by then legendary among them), that the spiced chai would probably suit me. My bravado was in high gear that day, so I said, “Sure!”

His observation turned out to be very astute. First, the chai was not a hot spicy and very mild overall. Second, milk turns out to be one of the best things to have with spicy foods, since the casein in milk has been shown to help neutralize the capsaicin in spicy foods (the ones where hot peppers were used). Of course, a mango lassi (see this great recipe) would also have suited the occasion, but the spiced chai was something I just had to try! And it certainly was tasty as well as helping to cool the burn from that spicy dish I’d ordered (not sure which it was, but was very likely a lamb curry, since that is my favorite).

So sorry that I can’t remember his name and that it was in the days before digital cameras, blogs like this, and social media sites. But this thank you goes out through the ether anyway, along with photos from a much more recent experience in 2010 at an Indian restaurant in North Carolina (none near our new home here in Oklahoma).

Who knows? Maybe I just planted an acorn in someone else’s mind!

© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text

A Sign of a Poorly Processed Tea

When you can’t tell if a tea is “orthodox” or “CTC,” it’s a sign of a poorly processed tea. This one from Red Label is a prime example. Here is what we saw after the latest steeping:

WiT_PoorlyProcessedTea1

There are teas that are considered “orthodox,” basically they are processed according to methods passed down through generations and involving a lot of hand labor. And then there are teas that are called “CTC,” which most tea vendors say means “Crush, Tear, Curl.” The leaves are put through machines and processed into a shape that is similar to the breakfast cereal called “Grape Nuts.” I tend to like both styles of teas and do not advocate one over the other. Each has its merits. However, seeing what looks like both styles mixed together just indicates that shortcuts were taken or the staff was not knowledgeable, or just plain sloppiness. Not that Red Label is a premium brand or anything, but still, a better standard than this is expected. Or am I being picky? No, maybe just spoiled. Whatever.

WiT_PoorlyProcessedTeaC1

Typical of CTC style teas, this one from Red Label steeps up dark reddish brown. The flavor is rather astringent, so milk, sweetener, and a box of Walker’s shortbread were needed. Heh heh! (Okay, so I only ate one of the shortbread cookies with the tea.)

WiT_PoorlyProcessedTeaD1

Personally, I don’t mind the mishmash of leaf shapes here – some CTC and some orthodox – but it does indicate room for improvement from the vendor. Either new equipment or better training for those operating it. Just my 2 cents’ worth.

© 2014 A.C. Cargill photos and text

Tea Party with the Last of the Hattiali Tea

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by Little Yellow Teapot (a tea steeping marvel and occasional contributing author to this e-zine)

It’s always a sad time when we reach the last of our stock of certain teas – you know, the ones that are truly special. Well, the day has come when we reached the last of this Hattiali TGFOP 1 CL TPY 2nd Flush 2013 Assam tea [garden name on vendor label spelled differently from the garden site, which is the spelling I used here – just noting to save my readers some confusion]. And my humans and I (your fave little teapot) are indeed sad. What to do… TEA PARTY! Yes, tea parties are the answer to all our sad times. So, I invited that cutie teacup and the Moravian cookies from the local store to join in. It really cheered up our humans.

WiT_LastBitLTLHattiali1

The Hattiali Tea Estate is a “South Bank” (of the Brahmaputra River that flows through there) tea estate that is part of the Dibrugarh district in the Assam state of northern India. “Hattiali” combines the Assamese words “hatti” and “alli,” which together mean “elephant road.” The garden has 405 hectares planted, of which 164 hectares are planted with clonal bushes. This tea is one of their tippy versions, know for their high quality, plenty of golden tips, and rigorously orthodox processing. They have been working to achieve a high standard and consistent quality that you humans here in the U.S. and in Europe have come to expect from a cuppa. This tea is even sold at Harrod’s in London, UK.

One thing we have come to expect from this vendor, also, is the sourcing of the best teas from the gardens in India. We’ve gotten to enjoy quite a few over the years, and hope to enjoy them for many years to come as the company grows. The rich malty flavor of this tea, which my humans chose to smooth with some milk and sweetener, is great for tea time or even with meals. We will miss it, but have others on hand that should be able to soothe our tea-loving appetites. TOOOT!

Disclaimer: all items were furnished by the vendor but all opinions expressed here are totally unbiased.

© 2014 A.C. Cargill photos and text

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