This rose-brown colored tea emits aromas of wood and warm honey. The mouth is much mellower; though somewhat astringent, the has rounded, gentle roasted flavors, with hints of peach and clover honey in the finish.
This medium-bodied middle-grown tea has a wonderfully easygoing nature. The Kenilworth tea estate is one of the oldest in Sri Lanka, established by a Scot in the nineteenth century. Halfway up Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands, at an elevation of roughly two thousand feet, the temperatures are not as hot as low-grown tea areas, but the Kenilworth estate is still hotter and more humid than the high-grown areas in the Highland’s peaks.
Kenilworth teas peak in the spring, when the monsoons douse the other half of the island with rain. The monsoons draw their moisture out of the air around the garden, concentrating the flavors in the tea leaves. After harvesting, tea makers at Kenilworth give their leaves a medium wither, in contrast with the light withering of Assam and the hard withering of Darjeelings. To macerate the leaves, they use Orthodox rolling machines, but at a faster pace and for a longer period of time than any other Ceylon tea – two hours. In another unusual step, the rolled leaves are distributed onto trays that circulate for another two hours on a moving belt that snakes around the room. After oxidizing 100 percent, the leaves are dried in ovens at a hotter temperature than that for high-grown teas. The thorough rolling, oxidation, and intense firing help reinforce the mellow, baked flavors that make this one of the most famous teas in Sri Lanka.