Assam - Harmutty Estate Black Tea
In the northeastern state of Assam in India, along the Brahmaputra River grow the hearty, malty Assam teas. The heavy rainfall and hot, humid day time temperatures in this area create the perfect green house like environment for growth, as well as helping to create the unique taste found only in Assam teas. Their distinct flavor can be enjoyed "as is"; however, Assam teas are often used in conjunction with other teas to create numerous blends, specifically breakfast teas.
The Harmutty tea estate is one of the oldest tea gardens in Assam, dating back to the 1870's. It is located in the NorthEast region of Assam, in the North Lakimpur district alongside the Dikrong river and bordering the forest of Arunachal Pradesh.
The name Lakimpur is thought to be derived from "Lakshmi", the name for the Goddess of Prosperity.
The golden tippy leaves are uniform in size and well styled. They brew to a smooth and malty cup with classic Assam boldness.
Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
Assam teas complement foods such as chocolate, spiced desserts, meat, strong cheeses, fish and more.
Quiche with a Black Tea Crust and Green Tea Spinach
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp black tea, coarsely ground
1/3 cup butter, frozen
1/4 cup ice cold water
In a bowl mix together the flour and the tea leaves. Using a grater, grate the butter into small pieces and stir into the flour/tea mixture. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time and toss the dough lightly through your fingers to mix. Avoid pressing the dough together; let pieces fall separately.
When all the dry flour is mixed in, press dough into a ball and flatten it. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Fold crust in half, slip it gently into a 9inch pie plate, and unfold. Trim edge so that it overhangs pie plate ¼ - ½ inch. Fold edge underneath itself and flute.
1 tsp green tea (I used Gunpowder Green Tea)
1 cup boiling water
1 lb fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped
1 large leek, (white and pale green parts only), sliced (approx. 3 cups)
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped
1 cup half and half
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 cup swiss cheese ( I used Madrigal cheese)
Toast the green tea over medium heat until the tea is lightly browned (approximately 5 minutes). Remove from the heat, put the toasted leaves in a measuring cup and fill with 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 2 minutes then strain the leaves out and return the brewed tea to the pan. Heat on low and add the chopped spinach leaves and cook until wilted. Remove from the heat, strain and cool.
In another frying pan melt the butter and add the leeks, cooking, on medium-high heat, until they are tender. Remove from the heat when done and cool.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Retrieve the crust from the refrigerator and, on a floured surface, roll out the crust to fit into a 9inch pie plate (see directions above).
In a bowl beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the cream, salt, pepper and mustard and whisk. Add the cheese and stir.
In the crust, layer the leeks, then spinach, corn kernels, and finally the red pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Cook at 425 for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes, until the center is set and the top is lightly browned.
A slice of quiche with a fresh green salad - a heavenly treat!
|This is one of the best Assams I have tasted! The usual bold Assam qualities but very smooth and flavorful. There are hints of spices ... clove, you will notice but they are subtle. Nothing overpowering ... this is a well balanced, self-drinking tea, indeed. Perfect any time of day. It impressed me more than the first flush Margarets Hope. MH is a Darjeeling but I mean generally. When you find an estate, unblended tea like this, you have fortunate stars shining. I hope S&V can continue getting this one!|
|- Brad Clark, MD|