I brewed this tea following Arbor Teas’ recommendation: “one generous tsp.” / 8 oz. / 212*F for 3 to 5-min. without sweeteners, milk or cream.
Dry leaf: well twisted, uniform sized, blackish brown
Fragrance: Subtle hints of pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear & mahogany colored
3 min. Initial taste: The tea was smooth and medium-bodied w/o any bitterness or astringency.
4-Min.: The longer infusion did allow the flavor to more fully develop. Now this tea was smooth, somewhat malty, and full-bodied w/o any bitterness. However, after a few sips a moderate-to-strong level of astringency developed and persisted on the front center of my tongue. I understand astringency can be associated with high-altitude teas. This “…organic Ceylon tea hails from Sri Lanka’s eastern Uva District, grown between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level.” I would definitely not suggest a longer infusion.
Next, I tried 1.5 tsp. / 8oz. / 195 F / 3 min.: Wow, now we’re talking! The clear, lively, coppery liquor is now medium dark. The flavor is now very smooth with a malty richness and with a subtle caramel sweetness. There is no hint of bitterness and only a very mild drying effect on the finish. As my cup cools, I’m delighted by the sweet caramel finish.
The increased amount of leaf produced a richer sip and a delicate caramel sweetness. The decreased temperature and reduced time significantly reduced the level of astringency.
Impression: This is one Sri Lankan black tea you don’t want to miss!
Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for providing this generous size free sample.