Wild Forest Assamica is a black tea that is picked from wild assamica tea trees found in forest of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, right on the border with Burma. Unusually, it is processed in a style most similar to a rolled Taiwanese black tea, resulting in a fantastic fruity character. The trees grow wild deep in ancient forests far away from human interference at an altitude of around 1,500 metres. The picking for this batch was in May 2022. We source this tea directly from the tea manufacturer in Doi Mae Salong.
The trees that this Wild Forest Assamica tea is picked from are of local Thai stock, which is a local Camellia sinensis var. assamica. It is a native tree to this part of Thailand that has been growing here for millions of years. Some of the older trees found in the jungles here are very tall and ancient. These trees tend to and do grow rather large, up to 5 metres, if not taller, depending on the surrounding environment. The same leaves are also used for making pu-erh tea both in Thailand and in Yunnan Province in China, where they are often sold to.
It is thought that this tree type is the first tea plant to come into existence; it is found in northern Thailand but also in Yunnan Province in China, northern Laos, eastern Myanmar and western Vietnam. The wild trees of this assamica varietal grow in this part of the world on their own without human interference of fertilisers or pesticides. While this tea has no organic certification, it is grown to organic standards as it is wholly picked from wild trees that are found in virgin forests of Chiang Rai.
The leaves of this Wild Forest Assamica are picked deep in the forests, after which they are brought to the factory in Doi Mae Salong for processing. Unusually, the tea master decided that the best way of processing this into a black tea is by following a Taiwanese style of processing whereby the leaves are tightly rolled. They are fully oxidised but do resemble a tightly rolled dark oolong tea in appearance. When brewed they open up into large dark leaves. As they open slowly, multiple brewing is advised to fully appreciate the developing flavours. The liquor has a rich amber colour with a lightly sweet and malty aroma. The tart, fruity profile of this tea has a creamy and soft texture with lightly floral and malty notes. The aftertaste is supremely smooth and long-lasting. It reminds us of a tart and fruity GABA Oolong, while having a much more complex profile and definite black tea characteristics.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed around 3 times depending on your taste preferences.
This Wild Forest Assamica black tea was first featured in our May 2019 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.