Hey, look at me posting AGAIN!
Last time I posted about this one, I mentioned why I had bought it, but I couldn’t really rate it then because I had botched the preparation of it so severely that it was impossible for me to unmask how it was supposed to have been. On top of that, what I did get out of it then was sufficiently discouraging that I haven’t really touched it in the meantime.
You see, in a far too strong brewing, it exhibited some very Darjeeling-y notes. And I just don’t really care for Darjeeling much. It’s too grass-y and spicy.
I do greatly enjoy my other Ceylon black, though, so I suspect that the initial difference between this tea and the Galle might very well have something to do with how high or low grown it is. The Galle is as I recall relatively low grown, where as this one is high grown. Or… Well, I suppose it could also be on different ends of the country. What do I know?
Either way it is very clear to me that in order to properly explore Ceylons, I’m going to need a map of Sri Lanka.
Anyway, I’ve tried this again today because I really need to do something about this here box of teas I have yet to post about taking up space on my desk. Also, I just had this sort of Ceylon-y feeling.
This time I have carefully measured the leaf and timed the steeping. Hopefully I haven’t botched it again.
What is that smell? I know it’s familiar. I’m sure I know what it is. I just don’t know what it is! Wood-y, but not really. Leather-y, but not really. Grass-y, but not really. Fruity, but not really. Malty, but not really. The more I try to decipher this, the more I fear the answer is really just this. It’s tea. Default tea.
I can’t write that in a Steepster post! “It smells like tea.” Well, duh!
At least the dry leaf is easier. That’s definitely leather-y and wood-y and with a smidge of something sharp.
Seeking the advice of Luna the Cat isn’t very helpful as she seems to think that both the dry and steeped aroma of this tea is right foul and has actually punished me by vacating my lap.
But apart from it not having a single solitary interesting note to it, the aroma of this tea is quite nice. If the flavour lives up to this, even by just being ‘default tea’, then I’ll be happy. Happy and forever mystified by the fact that this stuff is so highly regarded.
Unfortunately the Darjeeling-y nature that I mentioned before is still here and was not a result of a botched steeping after all. It’s that intial grass-y note followed by a somewhat sour aftertaste that gets me. If the people who hold this up as the Perfect Uva Tea are the same sort of people who go around naming Darjeeling the Champagne of Tea then I can’t really say I’m surprised.
Me, I disagree. On either count actually. If ever there was a true Champagne of Tea I can assure you, it would be grown in China. More specifically in the south-eastern corner of China. Even more specifically in Fujian. (And it would probably be called something like ‘Tan Yang’ too. wink ) To be honest, I find Champagne somewhat overrated as well, actually. It’s nice as a celebratory drink or for New Year’s Eve, but apart from that I could happily live without it. Then again, I don’t really much like any alcoholic drinks at all, so my opinions on this should be taken with a grain of salt.
But I digress.
Where was I? Oh yes, Darjeeling-esque flavour. While this Uva does have that Darjeeling-y camouflage, it’s still better than a real Darjeeling. It’s not just all grass and spice and sour aftertastes. While there are those too, it lacks some of the astringency that Darjeeling tends to display. It’s not completely free of it, but it feels much less in this Uva than it does in the average Darjeeling. That is definitely a point in favour of the Uva.
It also seems to have more body. It’s still a pretty mild and delicate tea, but it carries itself with a little more oomph and with a willingness to show a bit of teeth.
Until such time as my taste in tea changes again and I find myself once more gravitating towards India and Darjeeling, I don’t think I would buy this again, but now that I have, I think we can manage to give it legs to walk on.