Assam Brahmaputra Green is an interesting and unusually smoky green tea from Bhartia tea estate in the east of Assam located near to the Brahmaputra river. This Assam comes direct from the tea garden where it is produced in cooperation with other nearby small farm holders and is made completely by hand. This tea was harvested in October 2016, using the local Camellia sinensis var. assamica cultivar. We also offer a malty and smooth Assam Brahmaputra Black tea from the same Estate.
This Assam Brahmaputra Green tea comes from a part of Assam that is located close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh state. It is within the Dibrugarh belt that is often referred to as the Tea Capital of the World due to the large amount of tea produced in the area. It is particularly famous for a typical Assam style of tea that has brisk and malty flavours with an appealing liquor appearance. The Bhartia tea estate is located close to local areas of natural beauty, including the Dihing Patkai virgin rain forest, known as ‘the Amazon of the East’ due to its climate and biodiversity.
Traditionally a small holder farm like this one would supply tea at very low prices to larger factories for further processing, which in turn would sell their finished tea at auctions to highest bidders. However, with factors such as market pressures on the price of tea as well as increasing local costs such traditional methods of selling tea are becoming unsustainable for many farmers in the longer term. This is the primary reason why some smaller farmers are switching to producing high quality handmade tea that is distributed in a more direct chain to end consumers. This ensures that the farmers and the workers on the farms are paid a fair amount for their tea as it does cut out many of the middlemen present in traditional tea supply chains.
We work directly with the owners of Bhartia tea estate in sourcing this tea from them. Their family have been the owners of the estate for around a century with the estate being passed down the generations. Although they produce only a limited quantity of this tea due to labour intensive hand processing, the quality of it really is quite supreme. This hand made Assam Brahmaputra Green exhibits a more unusual character and flavour nuances that will definitely have been lost if this tea was sent to a large factory and processed into a mass product.
This Assam green tea has been hand selected and hand rolled in the traditional orthodox style of tea production. The dry large twisted leaves have a very dark green appearance and a smoky fruity aroma. When brewed, the aroma of this tea is unmistakably smoky, yet fruity. It is a far cry from a Lapsang Souchong, so don’t be put off by the smoky character – it is rather light, does not overpower other flavours and is well balanced by the more common green tea fruity notes. The golden liquor has only mild astringency, with refreshing hints of smoky tart fruits. There are slightly vegetal notes of asparagus and savoury seaweed on the undertones. This tea has an overall balanced flavour with an uplifting and invigorating finish.
This Assam Brahmaputra Green tea is best brewed at 80°C for 1-2 minutes according to your taste and can be brewed around 3 times, increasing steeping time with each next brew if desired.
This Assam Brahmaputra Green tea was first featured in our February 2017 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.