Sample package label: “Ceylon Black”

Per: http://www.alvinsofsf.com/tea/black-tea/ceylon-black.html:
“Black Orange Pekoe, Ultra high grade, Extra long leaf size, Fresh floral bouquet with sweet citrus and cucumber notes and a dry finish.

Details
Our Ceylon teas come from the very best sources in Sri Lanka. Grown in the Highlands of Ceylon, this amazing black tea is the finest on the planet. Picked from the Camellia Sinensis plant this high grade Orange Pekoe leaf yields a fresh floral bouquet with sweet citrus tones. Hints of fresh picked grapefruit and cucumber with a dry grainy finish. This is our absolute favorite un-blended black tea leaf. CERTIFIED ORGANIC, FAIR TRADE, KOSHER tea leaves."

Thanks to Hovik Azadkhanian at Alvin’s of San Francisco for the recommended brewing instructions: 1 tsp. / 205*F / 8oz.
“Steep Time is around 2 minutes. Again, this part is totally up to you. Many people steep for less time and then re-steep a second time.”

Technique:
8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 26 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 205*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer. Brewed in a closed vessel – teacup w/lid:
1 Tevanna teaspoon, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

This tea has a strong pleasant fragrance that reminds me of licorice.
Dry leaf – blackish brown
Infused Leaf – Bright coppery hue

First cup:
2-min: Smooth, med.-bodied I then steeped it an additional min.
3-min: Smooth, bright & full-bodied with notes of cucumber, a light floral aroma, and a dry finish. There was zero hint of bitterness or astringency.

4-min re-steep:
Smooth & a little lighter than the first infusion, but very enjoyable.

Impression: This Ceylon is a smooth full-bodied tea with hints of cucumber and without any bitterness or astringency. My cup was empty before I knew it. Very well done!

This tea changed my perceptions Ceylon tea. Previously, I’ve tasted a few Earl Grey teas that had a Ceylon base and were too astringent to be enjoyable. I guess the makers of these EG teas may have used a lower-grade Ceylon to reduce their cost and hoped the Oil of Bergamot would somehow hide it.

Thanks to Hovik Azadkhanian for providing this generous size free sample.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Ceylons grown at higher altitudes also seem to be more astringent. Kenilworth Ceylon is a very good one, in my opinion, or a blend of some of the lower elevation Ceylons. A Southern Season has a very nice Ceylon Extra Fancy with some of the biggest leaves you have ever seen, but it is smooth and rich, not too lemony or tart.

looseTman

Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll have to try them!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Comments

ashmanra

Ceylons grown at higher altitudes also seem to be more astringent. Kenilworth Ceylon is a very good one, in my opinion, or a blend of some of the lower elevation Ceylons. A Southern Season has a very nice Ceylon Extra Fancy with some of the biggest leaves you have ever seen, but it is smooth and rich, not too lemony or tart.

looseTman

Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll have to try them!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

My wife & I are passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, thick & creamy smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs). Currently, our focus is on ripe pu-erh teas.

We especially enjoy teas with a mildly-sweet rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to bittersweet cocoa.

Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are greatly appreciated. Many people drink tea for the anti-oxidant health benefits. So why would health conscious tea lovers drink tea that contains pesticide residues?

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Our recent orders have been from: Tao Tea Leaf, Whispering Pines, Yezi, TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala, Zen Tea Life, Verdant, Berylleb (ebay), Grandness (Aliexpress), King Tea, Yunnan Sourcing. Kudos to them as they have all been extremely helpful.

Our cupboard doesn’t include the many greatly appreciated samples generously provided by Steepsters’s favorite tea suppliers and by several very kind Steepster members.

Current Gogng Fu Brewing Method:
10-15g / 6 oz / 205° / 60s preheat / 60s warm leaves / 5s rinse / 20 min rest / 5s / 5 / 5 / 5 / 15 / 30 / 60 /120. Every two steeps combined in a sharing pitcher.

RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Digital variable-temp electric kettle and a tempered 6 oz. gaiwan:
http://steepster.com/teaware/bonavita/39130-1-liter-variable-temperature-digital-electric-gooseneck-kettle
https://steepster.com/teaware/butiki-teas/39240-flower-gaiwan
https://steepster.com/teaware/shanghaistory/75184-double-wall-clear-glass-cha-hai-tea-pitcher-200ml
http://steepster.com/teaware/shanghaistory/75183-sonsitai-sst-082-ss-fine-mesh-tea-strainer
http://steepster.com/teas/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en
-————————————-
Update 7/2/17: At the next filter change, I’ll upgrade from the Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter to the Everest Alkaline Water Filter:
https://steepster.com/teaware/zaria/68637-everest-alkaline-water-filter
The major difference is the Everest brand is NSA-certified, the Puregen is not.
-———————————
Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, a winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.

Location

Mid-Atlantic, USA

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer