I bought the loose leaf tea, which came in the coolest. tea. tin. evah. It has an airlock-type top – one outer lid like a dome on top of the opening, and an inner lid which fits tightly into the opening, with a neat little button handle on top so that you don’t have to pry the lid out with a screwdriver.
The tea itself is very finely cut, with some dust. Truly, it looks like the same particle size I would expect to see if I tore open a teabag. It took me about 4 tries to make a palatable cup of tea. The loose leaf teas I have been using lately are all much coarser, and I wound up using way too much of the Dilmah leaf for my first few tries. I ended up using one level teaspoon, about 2 grams, in an infuser set in a one pint teapot.
The resulting tea was very dark and a little murky with sediment. I found the color improved as the tea settled. Despite the infuser, a lot of tiny leaves escaped and settled to the bottom of the pot. The resulting tea flavor is classic Ceylon: bright and citrus-y, with a spicy, almost pepper-y finish.
For comparison, I made a pot of my current favorite, Adagio’s Ceylon Sonata, which is a much coarser tea, with long, slender strands of leaf, and little dust. I use a longer brew time (5 minutes) for this tea, and I made it as I ordinarily would, with about a tablespoon of leaf. The Adagio tea compares favorably with the Dilmah – the Adagio is more fragrant, somewhat smoother tasting, still very bright, with a clearer, more reddish liquor and far less sediment. It seems to lack the peppery finish that the Dilmah tea has. At $4.99 for a 125g tin, compared to $7 per 4 oz tin for Adagio, the Dilmah tea is an excellent value and well worth a spot on my shelf.