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Project Ceylon

This one is a high grown tea, from about 1500-1800 meters in elevation. It’s not quite as high as the Nuwara Eliya, though, so I’m expecting there to be some difference.

The aroma of the leaves (have you noticed how good I’ve been at remembering this?) is mostly fruit-y and raisin-y but with a great deal of wood-y, slightly spicy notes in as well. Once brewed, the tea retains this fruity note, although it is now the least prominent one. The wood-y, spicy aspects have taken over here, along with a note that very nearly, but not quite come across as caramel. It’s the shadow of caramel, but not the real deal by any definition of the word.

At first when I sip, I get the sensation of hot water. It has a bit of a fruity tinge to it, akin to the apple and pear mixture from before, but it’s faint. Then, after a short moment, a somewhat astringent but rather grain-y and wood-y note shows up underneath, followed immediately by something that strikes me most of all as floral. This is peculiar because floral notes are almost always top notes for me, so it’s funny to find one that somehow manages to sit near the bottom.

As the tea cools and develops a bit, the whole thing gains some maltyness which sort of covers every layer and becomes the primary note. I believe that this would be the grain-y note from before taking over.

There is still a moderate astringency here, though, a little bit too much for me to find it totally enjoyable. I should have liked it better had it been a bit smoother.

This strikes me as rather different from the other high-grown tea I’ve tried so far. The Nuwara Eliya seemed much more fresh and spring-y and somehow green-ish, where this one leans more towards the mid-elevation tea I’ve had, which was the Ratnapura grown at 900-1200 meters. Flavourwise the Dimbula seems to fall right in the middle between the two, but bizarrely I find I enjoy it less than either of those. I believe it’s the far more pronounced astringency at play here, which is really detracting for me.

I had this one three years ago as well, but I wasn’t apparently in much of a frame of mind to really try to analyse it at the time. I agree with myself about a fruity aspect, although Then-Me thought it was more berry-ish. I wasn’t super impressed with it at the time, though, and thought it best for those times when tea is needed but exquisite flavour and complexity is not necessary. I gave it 73 points then, and have decided to take that down a few notches.

Reference map: https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=6.657388,80.60078&spn=2.013212,2.892151&t=h&z=9

Kashyap

my last cupping of areas across Ceylon was many years ago and I remember Dimbula having a deeper, mellower flavor that was smooth and lightly fruity, almost mulberry with a soft sweet accent and a developing leathery astringency that was palate cleansing and not as tart or tannic as some of its kin

Angrboda

Gosh, I don’t recognise that at all in my experience… I wonder if yours were a higher quality than mine. It certainly sounds more interesting.

Bonnie

The same here. Years and years ago, my neighbor in Cupertino went home for a visit to Sri Lanka and brought back what she said was the finest tea. It almost peeled off my eyebrows with the leathery astringency.(I’d prefer it more now I’m sure than I did at the time.)

Angrboda

I’m not too fond of astringency either. That’s why I prefer the Chinese blacks, they almost never have any unless you seriously mistreat them. Very difficult to botch a Chinese. :) At least these Ceylons don’t appear to be as finicky as Indians.

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Kashyap

my last cupping of areas across Ceylon was many years ago and I remember Dimbula having a deeper, mellower flavor that was smooth and lightly fruity, almost mulberry with a soft sweet accent and a developing leathery astringency that was palate cleansing and not as tart or tannic as some of its kin

Angrboda

Gosh, I don’t recognise that at all in my experience… I wonder if yours were a higher quality than mine. It certainly sounds more interesting.

Bonnie

The same here. Years and years ago, my neighbor in Cupertino went home for a visit to Sri Lanka and brought back what she said was the finest tea. It almost peeled off my eyebrows with the leathery astringency.(I’d prefer it more now I’m sure than I did at the time.)

Angrboda

I’m not too fond of astringency either. That’s why I prefer the Chinese blacks, they almost never have any unless you seriously mistreat them. Very difficult to botch a Chinese. :) At least these Ceylons don’t appear to be as finicky as Indians.

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Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

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Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
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Bio last updated February 2014

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