This tea has been my go-to for the past several years so it’s about time I reviewed it! Writing a Twinings Assam tea review was quite difficult as I’m so accustomed to the flavour. Drinking it without milk for a change was certainly an experience, but I was successful at analysing the flavour better and describing it for you.
Assam tea is from the Assamica variety of tea plant. Although the exact flavour varies from one tea estate to another (I’m going to explain why in a future blog article), they’re typically bold, malty and strong.
Jon, another author at Immortal Wordsmith, misheard me say Assam as Aslan, so now this tea is fondly referred to as the lion from C. S. Lewis’ children’s books within the Immortal Wordsmith team. It’s quite fitting, given the rich, strong, roaring flavour that Assam tea has.
Read my full review below to see what I mean.
Twinings Assam Tea Bags at a Glance
- Blend: Black tea leaves from the Assam region of India
- Flavour: Rich, bold, malty and a little bitter
A good everyday tea drank with milk and biscuits, but too bitter to be consumed black. For an Assam tea that you can drink black and really pay attention to the subtle nuances, I’d recommend a better-quality loose-leaf Assam.
Full Review - Twinings Assam Strong and Malty
- Type: Square paper tea bag
- Tea: Black Assam
- Flavour Notes: Rich, bold, malty, full-bodied and strong
- Aroma: Malted milk biscuits, rich, warm and a subtle floral note
- Milk or Lemon: Milk preferable
- Where to Buy: Most supermarkets (UK), Twinings Official Website, and Amazon
The aroma from the Twinings Assam tea bags was unexpectedly floral. You could almost compare it to an Earl Grey! Beyond that slightly floral edge, the aroma was rich and full. There’s nothing subtle about it.
Once brewed that floral note drops away completely and you’ve got a warm reddy brown tea with a rich aroma. The malty notes in both the aroma and flavour instantly remind me of malted milk biscuits – even more so when you drink this tea with milk.
Sipping it without milk, the tea is quite bitter which I wasn’t expecting. Add a drop of milk and that bitterness is completely masked, leaving you with a bold malty biscuit flavour.
I did enjoy this tea, but I couldn’t finish the cup without adding milk to tone down the full body.
How to Brew Twinings Assam Bold
This tea is bold – don’t underestimate how bold it is and don’t over-steep!
I brewed one tea bag in freshly boiled water for 1 minute, although I may have left it in for another 30 seconds if I was adding milk from the start. Often, you’ll find that recommended brewing times for tea bags are far too long – I discussed this recently on Steepster on one of my tasting notes, where several other tea addicts noted that they never brewed for as long as suggested either.
If any tea companies are reading this, please explain why your recommended brew times are so long! I’d love to find out.
3 minutes is usually the limit for black tea, so I’d suggest you start there for this Twinings Assam tea review. Depending on your personal tastes, the particular tea bag and the minerality/acidity of your water, it might need a little longer or already be overly strong.
This Assam tea is good with a hearty breakfast or large slice of cake, in my opinion. It’s too strong to drink on its own first thing in the morning without a meal, however.
Why Twinings Tea Bags?
The tea within the Twinings tea bag was… meh. Not as bad as their Earl Grey blend which was nothing but dust and flavourings, but still not great. You can see very small (but not dusty) tea leaves and a few larger stalks and leaves that have managed to sneak in.
I did contact Twinings several months ago about the origins on this tea, to see if they could provide me with any extra information. All I got back was a short email explaining that their Assam is sourced from a variety of estates in the Assam region of India.
So, it is 100% Assam tea, but it’s not single origin and I imagine what we’re actually drinking is the leftover, broken Assam leaves from various estates that want to sell them off cheap while making the most profit from the quality, whole leaf Assam.
Summary – Twinings Assam Tea Review
Despite the mediocre tea quality and bitterness when drank without milk, I can’t help but love this tea. It’s cheap and cheerful while giving you a hint at the varying flavours and richness that tea can provide if only you venture a little further away from the supermarket aisle…
I will always have a box of Twinings Assam Strong and Malty in the cupboard as a way of introducing English-Breakfast-Loving friends to the world of tea flavours.
I’m not a pro tea taster, and honestly you don’t need to be when it comes to Assam. It’s a very full-flavoured, rich tea that you’re going to love. It’s just one of the many teas I’ve reviewed this, so check them all out on my blog. If you’re not sure about Assam and want to try a gentle, warming tea instead, check out my review of Whittard’s Rose Bloom Flowering Tea.
Love Strong, Rich Teas?
Me too! I’m currently finalising my tea book guide, The English Tea Book, to take you through a variety of tea blends you might enjoy. Follow us on Instagram at Immortal Wordsmith for an update when the book is ready for reading!