Assam Latumoni Royal Gold is a very fine completely handmade Second Flush Assam from Latumoni, a very small family-run plantation located in Tingkhong, Upper Assam. The careful hand processing in small individual batches results in stunning looking leaves and a rich yet mellow liquor. This tea was harvested in late May 2020 from plants grown naturally and without use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
The small privately-run plantation only measures approximately 2 acres. It was planted by Sailen and his late father. Originally the leaves from this small plantation like those of many others were bought by the larger factories of Assam to increase their capacity. However with large corporate gardens having full control over the purchasing of the leaves from small scale farmers and little competition this has lead to a significant decrease in the price offered to the farmers. This essentially has created a situation where the small scale farmers were exploited by the large corporate estates. Sailen decided to change the way he was running the plantation, to switch to organic growing methods and to start producing his own artisanal teas.
We work together with a specialist wholesaler in Assam who only works with small scale farmers like Sailen. They do not just resell the farmers’ teas but also provide support and financial help to small scale farmers to enable them to produce great quality tea – such as investing into machinery and providing them with knowhow. This guarantees small scale farmers like Sailen a fair price for their tea and provides investment into their farm to support their family’s future. This is in complete contrast with teas from many large Assam estates where most of the price paid for the tea ends up with the estate and little trickles down to the farmers.
This Assam Latumoni Royal Gold is a Second Flush Assam, having been picked in late May. Generally this is the most prized picking for the Assam region as the trees are in full power, producing leaves that make a tea with a strong pronounced Assam flavour. The leaves of this tea are carefully handpicked from demarcated sections of the plantation over a 3-5 day picking period. This means that each batch of this tea tastes different to the next (this is batch #001). After picking the leaves are hand-rolled in small batches to avoid breakage and to preserve unique flavour profiles of each picking.
The dry leaves of Assam Latumoni Royal Gold have a very appealing black and gold appearance with a typical Assam malty aroma. When leaves are brewed it is possible to see that they are very neat, consisting or smaller leaves and buds. The tippy nature of this tea leads to a very refined flavour. It is unmistakably Assam in character but so much smoother and not overladen with tannins! The taste is full, bright and brisk with a typical satisfying Assam malty character. There are notes of dried fruits and a mouthwatering tangy aftertaste that is not drying or bitter. There is a very pleasant molasses sweetness running throughout the taste. This tea has all the best flavour qualities of a top grade Assam but is balanced and smooth rather than bold and astringent.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 3-5 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed a couple of times depending on your taste preferences. Definitely try this one without addition of milk or sugar.
This Assam Latumoni Royal Gold black tea was first featured in our August 2019 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.