Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: MK’s Tea Co.
The basis of Earl Grey tea! Ceylon tea is a sweet, brightly orange colored (once-brewed) black tea harvested in the lush hills of the island of Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon). This is a fantastic introductory tea, a great tea for the black tea lover, and an extraordinary tea for blending purposes. Ceylon tea is just brisk enough to be uplifting, but light enough to not be bitter or off-putting. It truly is a remarkable black tea that belongs in every tea-lover’s collection.
Learn more about this tea here.
I started the day with this tea, hoping that it would be clean and refreshing. Thankfully I was right, and it made a great choice in lieu of breakfast. The dry leaf is straight and pretty long (I’d say an average of 2cm), and a fairly uniform black-brown with just a few lighter brown leaves. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a vibrant red-brown, and the leaf itself has also taken on an impressive red-brown hue. It’s very autumnal looking! The scent is sweet and a little chocolatey, which wasn’t something I was expecting from a Ceylon.
To taste, this is pretty much a classic Ceylon in many respects. It’s very fresh and clean tasting, with a bright edge of citrus running throughout. It comes across as a “light” tasting tea, to me. There are no thick or heavy flavours that are cloying on the palate, just the delicate, refreshing sweet/citrus play off. There is a touch of maltiness towards the end of the sip, but it doesn’t dominate the flavour or drown out the fresher notes. I can also detect just the tiniest bit of chocolate, which shifts the balance of the aftertaste away from citrus and more towards the generically sweet. It’s almost like it’s a tea of two halves, but they’re two very good halves so I’m not going to complain.
This tea is delightfully smooth and creamy, with no bitterness or astringency at all. It’s a real joy to drink, and I’m finding it an especially good choice this morning with its bright, citrusy “wake up” profile and edge of comforting sweetness. Delicious!
I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.
I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they're the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer -- their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.
I'm still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don't think they'll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don't hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I'm also beginning to explore pu'erh, both ripened and raw. That's my latest challenge!
I'm still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.