Tea estates harvest tea only during certain seasons of the year. The tea harvested during mid-June is known as summer second flush teas. They are very different from the first flush, which is harvested during the early summer season. Hence, it is very easy to distinguish one from another. These are known to soak in both summer warmth and the early rain showers of the Monsoon. This leads to diverse and rich palettes of flavor, aroma and colors. Assam summer second flush teas are famous in the tea drinking community. So it becomes necessary to first understand their very specific characteristics before concluding why the Assam variant is better.
General Characteristics Of Summer Second Flush Teas
This type of tea tends to have a darker color as compared to first flush variants. Moreover, their aroma and flavor notes are also richer, making them so popular among tea drinkers. Their flavor notes range from that of sweet fruits to robust nutty flavors with hints of wood. Among all the fragrances these teas are available in the most in-demand are almond, rose, chocolate and earthy. They have a sweet taste and do not require any milk or sugar to influence their flavor. These take about 3-5 minutes to brew and are best suited for breakfast time. These are primarily harvested in Assam. Even though their harvest timing is the same, their characteristics are quite distinctive.
The Assam variant of summer second flush teas is known for its strong honey-like taste, which carries notes of wood and malt. These can be as light as golden yellow, and their darkest teas are dark reddish in color. Their dark hue is representative of their rich texture and layered flavor notes. Named after the golden tips that appear when these are harvested, they are also known as “tippy teas”. One can enjoy them both in the morning and during the afternoon.
Harvested from the foothills of Himalaya, these are more like the specialty version of summer second flush teas that one finds in Assam. They are much lighter in color and have more floral and fruity flavor notes instead of earthy ones. However, these are equally sweet in taste and taste great by themselves as well as sweet confectioneries. The most south after summer second flush flavor, muscatel, is also found in Darjeeling. These are mildly astringent in taste and tends to brighten your mood from the very first sip.
Why Is The Assam Varients Better?
Assam produces about 1% of the total amount of tea in India, making it expensive. Moreover, its fruity and rate taste notes further increases their price in the market. On the contrary, Assam variants are widely available at affordable prices and hardly differs in taste from its Assam based counter parts.
Also, the Assam teas offer aromatic notes like wood and malt, which are great for having a fresh start to the day. These neither lack flavanoids nor nutrients. On top of that, one does not have to go out of his/her way to purchase them. These are rich in anti-oxidants and other health-enhancing nutrients. Moreover, their sweetness provides the much-needed natural sugar and rehydrates one’s body during the summer. Hot teas can seem bothersome during the summer. Hence, you can brew them in cold water to have a chilled beverage to beat the heat as well. So, if one is looking for a refreshing tea to drink regularly, Assam second summer flush is a cost-effective version for them.