What a magnificent day. Warm, high in the 70s here in New York. Sunny. Perfect. The kinda day that makes you want to chase moving vehicles on York Avenue and bark like a dog. But then you start thinking, gee, can I really afford to spend all afternoon being processed at the 19th Precinct? And then there’s all those pesky court-ordered psychological evaluations, especially troublesome when things are so busy at the office. Huh, maybe I’ll just settle back with a cup of Ceylon tea. (You were wondering where all this was going, weren’t you?)

Well, all of this brings me to Greenfield Estate broken orange pekoe from Upton Tea Imports, known to the order-fulfillment boys at Upton’s as TC87.

Hallelujah. After drinking a long string of flavorless organic Ceylons (brown water, anyone?), finally an organic Ceylon with flavor. And pretty good flavor to boot.

Have I really never reviewed this tea before? This tea seems like a compromise between an Assam and a Darjeeling, not as rich as an Assam, but a lot more floral. It’s grown fairly high, at around 5,000 to 6,000 feet, using Chinese small-leaf varietals (as opposed to Assamicas).

It’s grown in the Uva District, for those of you who can actually tell an Uva Ceylon tea from a Kandy Ceylon. I’m not there yet with Ceylon teas, although I can certainly tell a Yunnan from a Keemun, or an Assam from a Darjeeling (actually unless your tongue was surgically removed, anyone can tell an Assam from a Darjeeling).

Back to our Greenfield… The dry leaf is virtually black, although the infusion and the liquor are reddish brown and not that dark.

Like Indian-style teas, it’s not at all smokey and I bet the darling of the old-lady tea set. It’s a tad thin for milk, I think, but I had it with Rice Dream a few times and it wasn’t a complete disaster. Even though it’s a broken-leaf tea, which tend to infuse more quickly than their whole-leaf brethren, this one does well with a fairly long four-and-a-half minute steep.

Overall, a nice cup. Available from Upton Tea Imports. And if you’re a complete tea nerd, check out the Greenfield Estates website at http://bit.ly/hDos8K.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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East Side Rob is chief marketing officer for a philanthropy, where he spends a lot of time working late, contemplating a saner life, and drinking lots of — you guessed it — tea.


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