I had a feeling that I wanted straight, unadulterated tea this morning. So I rooted through the glorious Golden Moon sampler and came out with this French Breakfast. From what the packaging says, it’s an estate Ceylon, which I found quite interesting. I like Ceylon, but I usually think it’s better suited for blending instead of as a stand-alone.
The dry leaves smell like… black tea. That earthy aroma that just screams “default!” to me. They’re fairly small and wiry, so if you’re expecting a show in your teapot, don’t put this one in. This one brews up to be a very pretty red/copper color, quite typical of the Ceylon varietal but still very yummy looking. I can detect a slight sweetness in the smell, but other than that, it smells like… Ceylon. As do the wet leaves.
I have a fairly difficult time describing Ceylon. The word I usually use is “smooth.” I think if you want to start someone out on black teas and don’t know where to begin, Ceylon would be an excellent choice. It’s familiar, in that it tastes like a WAY higher quality Lipton (and I’m pretty sure their normal teabags are Ceylon dust/fannings). It’s pretty much a baseline tea. As a result, I’m never completely blown away by it – it’s not surprising, but it is comfortingly familiar. Like that old sweater you don’t wear as often, but still keep around just because on cold winter days it feels good to snuggle down with.
I actually found that when I stopped sipping the tea and went off to do something else, the flavor actually subtly expanded to include that elusive honey-like note Golden Moon describes in their tasting notes. It’s a sweetness that doesn’t usually come out particularly strong in black teas, so that was a welcome surprise.
Something like this French Breakfast would be a great daily drinker. While I definitely prefer something with a bit more complexity and oomph to it, this one is smooth and entirely sippable.