From Upton,s I got this at the same time as the Risheehat Darjeeling. This Assam is what I call a "show" tea. The very best they are capable of producing, and it shows. Especially in the price. A 400 gm bag, $93.60. The dry leafs colors are incredibly rich, mostly reds and browns with a profusion of golden tips. Such depth and intensity in the color. The dry leaf is also very soft and velvety to the touch, it makes me want to grab a handful and just feel it. (but I don't) I think Assam teas are to readily dismissed as cheap black tea. And a lot of it is, but in the hands of the farmers and producers who care about the tea they can be just as nuanced as any other tea. For an invigorating morning cup you cant beat an Assam. This teas aroma makes my mouth water. It smells like malt (of course) spice, some honey. This Assam brews a really clean tasting cup, none of the heaviness usually found in Assam tea,s. The teas brew is as clear as could be. A deep amber, not the ruddy brown of lesser Assam's. With this one I wouldn't dream of putting any milk in the cup, just a dab of sugar brings out the subtleties in this tea. I don't bother weighing this tea just a rounded tsp. in an eight oz. teapot, 3-4 minute infusion and presto a gorgeous cuppa. These teas are very expensive and not something I keep around for everyday use but what the hell a cup of this once or twice a week shouldn't hurt anyone,s budget.
Another thing I like about Upton,s is that it,s run in a very professional manner. Very consistent customer service. As long as they have your order before 1:00 PM the order goes out the same day regardless of the shipping method. Also they offer a variety of shipping options. Ive been buying from Upton,s for years and without exception they have shipped every order I have ever placed the same day.