Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: PMD (P.M.David Silva & Sons)
Craighead Estate is stationed 1,100 metres above sea level in the picturesque Gampola valley within the Kandy district. The Kandy district saw the success of the first commercially planted tea in Sri Lanka. This triumph led to the conception of the Ceylon Tea industry and in due course the establishment of Craighead Estate..
The combination of the western quality season and the skills of the resident tea maker create a truly regal mid-grown tea. Craighead possesses intense malty characteristics whilst embodying a brisk finish. It is ideally drunk with milk during the late morning or early afternoon.
Learn more about this tea here.
I was very excited when I got a package from the UK! From P.M.David Silva & Sons … a new to me company! Double excitement from one package! Woo hoo!
This Craighead Kintyre Oya Seasonal Single Estate Ceylon Tea is the first tea that I’m sampling from them, and it’s a really lovely Ceylon!
When I think of Ceylon, I often think of the smooth, medium-bodied, even tempered, easy going black tea that has a moderate flavor that seems to take to adding flavor to quite well, which is why it’s one of the often utilized teas when it comes to selecting a base to create flavored teas. However, there are a lot of different Ceylon teas out there, and some have really surprised me. Like this Craighead, for example!
This is a rich and malty Ceylon, and if I had to compare it to another tea, I’d say that this is very Assam-like! It has that rich, bold flavor of an Assam, with a sweet, caramel-y undertone and a wonderful malty note. It isn’t quite as hefty as a typical Assam, I don’t think that I would turn to this tea for my first cup of the day. It doesn’t have that “shake me awake,” invigorating quality to it that I get from Assam tea.
But, it does have a very robust character, and it’s a tea that I’d want as my second cup of the day, and it would make a lovely afternoon tea as well. Because it does have a strong, assertive flavor, it would take well to the addition of milk and honey, if you’d like to add those. It would also make a great tea to serve to guests at a tea party, because usually, people like to add tea cubes and a splash of milk to their tea at tea parties. (This is based on my observation of the behaviors of guests at my favorite tea room.)
This is slightly tannic, but not overly so. I find that the tannins here seem to keep the sweeter notes of the tea in balance, so I get a nice, well-rounded taste with every sip.
I like that this tea makes me rethink “Ceylon.” This is not at all what I expected from a Ceylon, and I’m loving that!