41 Tasting Notes
I have refrained and resisted from rating this tea because its underwhelming reputation has done enough damage to the name “Lipton.” Or has it? This poor excuse for tea relates to hip/hop in the way that it’s useless and serves no real purpose but also never seems to go away. How can a product be so terrible and have such a poor reputation but continue to pervade store shelves? Anyway, when I’m out to a meal and I order tea I always let them know that if they only provide Lipton to just bring me water or coffee. I would rather drink Tetley filtered through a dirty gym sock. Lipton should be free and never sold. Calling it “tea dust” is a compliment.
Anyone who knows me would tell you that I’m a Ceylon black tea fanatic. I found a 250g tin of this at a local World market and figured it to be a good $10 sacrifice because it says PURE CEYLON TEA on the front of the damn thing. I got home, popped it open and was instantly disappointed. I have no doubt that it is indeed pure Ceylon, but it’s soaked in bergamot. It doesn’t say that anywhere on the package, but being a Brit, I should have guessed that if the word “royal” is part of the product that it would be doused in bergamot. Anyway, the tea is magnificent as an Earl Grey, but that’s not why I bought it. The rating here is based on the drink itself and NOT my purchasing experience and my overall disapproval of the product description.
**UPDATE: Impra is sending me a fresh tin of Ceylon black tea. What great customer service!
UPDATE: Impra has yet to send the tea as promised. It’s been two months now and I have made up my mind that I will NOT be buying from them again in the future. Ever.
When it comes to bagged Darjeeling, I pick Bigelow everytime. Nevermind that their samples never arrived to me this last Spring. The second flush shipment this year was quite nice. By the way, if you want to make sure to get your selected season of choice, buy directly from Bigelow and avoid second-hand retailers who tend to sit on their inventory. I prefer the maltiness of Ceylon teas most of the time, but an occasional Darjeeling really challenges your preferences.
Ever since seeing the excellent documentary “All In This Tea,” I’ve wanted to try this one and I finally got the chance when a local Chinese friend of mine brought some in to my shoppe for blending. During the aforementioned documentary film, renown tea master Gaetano Kazuo Maida does a public tasting of this specfic tea and describes the experience as “vegetal without being flowery, earthy, seaweed.” Well, he’s got a much more refined palate than I do but I get what he was saying. It’s definitely very, very vegetal and has a slight, natural sweetness to it that is refreshing. I’ve never tasted a tea so clean before. I got three lovely infusions out of the amount that was given and we’re getting together this weekend for more tastings.
I received a sampler from Silk Road yesterday and let me tell you that this earthy varietal is something special. I did three infusions (gaiwan-style baby!) and the third was still just as lovely as the first. Interestingly, it tasted sweeter after the third infusion. If you fancy yourself to have a sharp tea palate, this one should prove to be quite the challenge as it has several levels of taste experience. I’m going to buy a few pounds of this!
Love this Assam/Ceylon blend. Stash did a good job with this tea. If you’re looking for a wake up call or an early morning kick in the junk, this is the tea which can provide. Very deep and malty. I only steep it for two minutes the first infusion and five minutes on the second. The Ceylon character is deeper in the second infusion. Lovely!
This tea was one of three being sold BY THE BAG at a small “Euro” grocer in Sacramento. I paid €0.50 for a cup which the clerk brewed for me. I found it nice that they accept Euro coin as well as US currency. The tea was a little stale and served in a styro cup (ewww) but the flavour was definitely Ceylon. I didn’t buy a box. Evidently, this brand is Finnish. I didn’t ask for details.