Pure Assam tea - When Thomas Atkinson first opened the "Grasshopper Tea Warehouse" in 1837, his aim was to provide the good citizens of Lancaster with a high quality tea. This is his 'Pure' Assam, ...
Pure Assam tea - When Thomas Atkinson first opened the "Grasshopper Tea Warehouse" in 1837, his aim was to provide the good citizens of Lancaster with a high quality tea. This is his 'Pure' Assam, so named to distinguish it from the very popular Assam Blend. Asking for Pure Assam is a familiar request from generations of Atkinsons customers, probably without ever asking why.
In the Lap of the Gods
The Assam region is situated in India's North Eastern corner sandwiched between the towering Himalayas and the more gentle Patkai range to the South. Flowing through this wide plateau is the mighty Brahmaputra, named after the son of Brahma, creator of the universe. As with most deities the river giveth and it taketh away!
So wide and flat is the valley that, from the start of the region to where it flows into the Bay of Bengal, it meanders for 800 miles with only a 330 foot drop in elevation. This distributes rich alluvial soils for the tea bushes to flourish in, which is great! However, it can also wipe out entire towns and villages as the spring melt of the Himalayan glaciers coincides with the early monsoons that trigger the main plucking season.
An Orthodox Brew
We can trace a lineage of ordering Assam teas back over 180 years, so in respect of these traditions we still order the original 'Orthodox' style of tea from the Traders. They also go back a long way and we have forged long standing relationships with them over many years. This means they know exactly what characteristics we are looking for to make an Atkinsons tea.
This is why you will see a lovely mix of golden, tippy and flowery leaves in our Pure Assam. This will give you a glorious brew with a bright topaz liquor and the rich characteristic malty flavour of this origin. More mass produced Assams use the CTC method resulting in a more granular appearance. They give an equally malty brew but with the consistency that big blenders demand. Our more traditional methods of production are more in the lap of the gods and also at the mercy of climate change...