There are not nearly enough Assam black teas available in the UK. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing several fine quality Assams over the years, and the malty sweetness is unbeatable. Notes of raspberry jam and honey are just naturally emitted from the tea leaves.
But today, I’m focusing on a more humble tea. This is Hampstead Tea’s Organic Assam, which contains a blend of black teas exclusively from the Assam state of India. I’m reviewing the teabag version, so let’s jump right in.
Below you can find my thoughts on the flavour and my favourite brewing method for Assam tea.
Hampstead Assam Tea at a Glance
Full Review – Assam Teabags by Hampstead Tea
- Type: Tagged paper filter teabags
- Tea: Black tea, fanning quality
- Origin: Assam state of India
- Flavour Notes: Malty, sweet, smooth, minimal tannins
- Aroma: Smooth, malt, vanilla sponge, jammy, brisk
- Milk or Lemon: Milk
- Where to Buy: Amazon or Hampstead Website
I have a lot to say about the organic certifications, but first let’s dig into the drinking experience of Hamstead Assam tea. The aroma coming from the teabag as soon as you rip open the paper wrapping is divine. It’s smooth and malty with a gentle sweetness that reminds me of a vanilla sponge cake.
This tea needs a good brew to really pull out the flavours, so see my note about timings below. Once brewed, it is a really dark but clear brown, red colour. The aroma is more jammy and has brisk tannin notes mixed with the maltiness that’s the signature of an Assam tea.
And then I took that first sip.
Usually, a bold black tea will be a bit too strong to drink without milk, but not this one. It’s actually smooth and mellow with nice malt and sweetness. I tested it with milk too and it really holds up to the creaminess of dairy (or soy milk, in my case).
I love the texture of this tea too. It’s ultra-smooth and slick, it doesn’t catch on your tongue or in your throat at all. A truly comforting and hydrating experience.
If you like the boldness of an English Breakfast tea but want more of a malty flavour to your brew, Assam is the perfect tea.
How to Brew Assam Black Tea
This is a strong and bold black tea, so don’t hold back. Pour over boiling water straight from the kettle, over the teabag and into your mug. Let it steep for at least 3 minutes, or up to 5 minutes if you want to drink it with a lot of milk and sugar.
For my review, I used 1 teabag with 250ml of water, and timed it for exactly 3 minutes. However, when I drink this tea regularly during the week, I often let it steep longer and then add a good splash of soy milk.
Assam tea has a natural sweetness to it, but you can add some additional sugar if you like. This is a good tea to have with breakfast or just a few biscuits.
Why Hampstead Biodynamic Tea?
There are so many good things about this brand. Although they ship internationally, they are a British brand. Furthermore, all their teas are both organic and biodynamic. This is really cool! Biodynamic means that the tea estate is self-sustaining. The farming practices don’t just produce organic and Fairtrade produce, but actually are designed to replenish the soil and leave the land in an even better state than before.
As for the grade quality of the tea, it’s pretty low. The leaves are finely finely chopped and dusty, which is average for a teabag. If you compared it to Twinings or Pukka, you wouldn’t be able to spot the difference visually.
Only when you look at the ethics of the brand and the flavour of the tea do you see why Hampstead is miles ahead.
I highly recommend Hampstead Assam tea, it has a great flavour and the ethics of the tea brand are stellar. I also really like that it’s available in biodegradable teabags, for easy and convenient brewing that doesn’t cost the Earth either.
If Hampstead Assam tea sounds like your kind of cuppa, then I recommend you read my review of What-Cha Assam Kanoka tea next. It’s a high-quality Assam tea that’s actually handmade. I like to save it for special occasions.