I’m starting to really get into Ceylonese black teas. It took forever, but I’m just now getting to a point where I feel like I’m beginning to appreciate them. Maybe the heat has me reaching for simple, yet flavorful black teas, or maybe I’m just starting to appreciate them for what they are. Anyway, this is the most recent Ceylonese tea I have tried. I meant to post this review yesterday, but I got sidetracked and ended up spending my evening listening to music.
I prepared this tea using my normal preparation for non-Chinese black teas. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 212 F water for 3 minutes. I did not perform any additional infusions. I, however, did try a slightly longer infusion length of 4 minutes at one point. The results were not all that different from the initial preparation though, and I actually thought the shorter steep time was a little smoother. I will, therefore, be limiting my review to the initial preparation described above.
In the cup, the infused liquor showed a dark amber. I picked up aromas of caramel, toffee, cream, roasted nuts, molasses, and leather on the nose. In the mouth, I detected a smooth blend of cream, toffee, caramel, molasses, walnut, roasted chestnut, toast, and leather. I also thought I detected a fleeting floral sensation, but couldn’t be sure. The finish was rich and robust with lingering impressions of toast, molasses, caramel, roasted nuts, and leather. There was a slight astringency as well, though it did not particularly distract from the lingering taste sensations.
Honestly, when I think of a typical, unflavored black tea from Sri Lanka, I kind of think of a tea like this one. I might even say that if someone were to sit me down and ask me to describe what I feel to be a totally stereotypical Ceylon black tea, I would probably just point them toward this tea. That may seem like a knock, especially since I have made my ambivalence toward many Ceylon teas known in the past, but I do not really mean it that way. I just mean that the aroma and flavor profiles are representative of the Ceylonese black teas I have tried over the course of my life. Please understand that I’m not bragging, but if I were to have tried this tea in a blind tasting, I would have know that it was a Ceylon tea. To be perfectly frank, my complaints with Ceylon teas often revolve around astringency and lack of body, and well, I don’t really have those complaints with this tea. It is not too astringent, has a good body with a smooth texture in the mouth, and displays a pleasant, if not particularly complex mix of aromas and flavors. I like it. I wouldn’t call it a great tea, but I do think it is very good for what it is.
Flavors: Caramel, Chestnut, Cream, Floral, Leather, Molasses, Toast, Toffee, Walnut