Plantation Fresh Uva Tea from Zesta

The crisp aroma of these maroon, CTC BOP leaves transports you with their smell of brambles dried in an arid forest.

Zesta aims for this tea collection, which includes this Uva, to provide an authentic Ceylon journey, well, mission accomplished! Turns out, this selection is from Sri Lanka’s 4th largest grower.

Zesta recommends brewing with boiling water, which produces a rich mahogany brew.

I also made a cup at my usual 175F, which had more of a ruby color to it. I didn’t detect any major differences in taste between the two temps. Though I know its pure tea, I taste lots of refreshing red apple and somehow a sweet, fresh-cut grass in there.

Sweetener also made a negligible difference in taste. Pairs deliciously with all kinds of milk!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Loose Black Tea
Where to Buy: Zesta

Description:

The perfect gift for the tea devotee, the enchanting pine wood gift box has premium black teas from all five tea growing regions in Sri Lanka – Dimbula, Ruhuna, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Uva. Ceylon tea became famous for its unique taste variety that differs across the regions and elevations which are reflected in these teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Connoisseur Jasmine Green Tea from Zesta Ceylon Tea. . . . .

I LOVE jasmine green teas when they are done well. Some are not. A lot of jasmine tea is actually pouchong and can have a bit more bite than I care for. Lots of people like those teas, especially with food. But since jasmine tea is my special “take me away” tea, it has to be just so.

The instructions on this one scared me. Boiling water? For green tea? In a teabag? Are you kidding me? I know a few types of green tea thrive on it, but I was afraid this was going to be the train to heartburn city.

I dialed it back to 200F and let it steep right in the middle of the recommended one to two minutes.

Wow. I expected a harsh green base, lots of astringency, and artificial jasmine flavor, but this is infused with real jasmine flowers and it is GOOD. As in, actual tasty jasmine tea with all its calming capabilities in a teabag!

The jasmine is natural and sweet tasting, the tea has minimal briskness that does build a little now that I am on my second cup, and there is a creamy texture to the liquor. The Chinese green base starts to come through more on the aftertaste.

I think this would be a great, affordable tea to serve with food, and now I want spring rolls. Really, really badly. I guess I know what I am having for supper tomorrow night.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy: Zesta Tea
Description

This delicately fragrant green tea adds a touch of beauty to your day with its imprint of natural Jasmine petals. Zesta’s Jasmine green tea is an exotic tea that can be enjoyed any time of day and is great as an accompaniment to food.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Dimbula Tea from Zesta Tea. . . .

Dimbula Plantation teas are mostly grown around 5,000 to 6,000 feet on the island of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon. The different altitudes make a lot of difference in the taste of the tea grown, and teas typically retain the name of Ceylon tea, this one being further identified as a High Grown Broken Orange Pekoe or BOP. Orange Pekoe refers to the size of the leaves that were picked and therefore also their location on the branch, as tip leaves are smaller, and broken tells us that this isn’t whole leaf tea.

While whole leaf tea is usually more expensive, that doesn’t mean that broken leaf can’t be good. If it came from good leaf, it just becomes broken good leaves. It can mean you need a fine strainer, and it does mean there is more surface area and therefore, you need to cut your steep time short to prevent bitterness, but made properly, broken leaf teas can be quite delicious.

This tea has a hearty, classic tea scent and bold flavor. The citrus notes are high enough to tingle your nose when you sniff the steeped tea. The liquor is dark orange and medium bodied. It has a nice briskness and goes well with food. I drink almost all of my tea plain, and this one is palatable that way, but if you like milk and sugar in your tea, this one can certainly take it. It also makes a good iced sweet tea.

I would have no trouble serving this as a breakfast tea, but it also does duty in my house as an afternoon tea with sweets, which is how I think I most like to use it.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zesta Tea
Description

Enjoy our regional tea packs featuring teas from five tea growing regions of Sri Lanka – Dimbula, Ruhuna, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Uva. This variety from such a small island is what made Ceylon tea famous – try it – from the low grown Ruhuna teas to the high grown Nuwara Eliya – a true journey in Ceylon tea, packaged in teabags for convenience and offered in a pine wood box. Perfect for gifting.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ruhuna Tea from Zesta Tea . . . . . .

The Ruhuna (sometimes spelled Ruhunu) tea from Zesta is part of their regional tea tasting set.  This black tea came in a beautiful red patterned box, and I’m tempted to try the rest of their regional tea set just for the eye-catching packaging alone. Beneath the red box is a foil bag of tea, so I popped it open and started brewing.

The dry leaves were small and tightly rolled, almost like pellets.  When I put my nose into the bag of tea the leaves were very fragrant, with both earthy almost-tobacco notes complimented by bright lemony scents.

In brewing, the leaves unfurled and quickly produced a dark and potent cup of tea.  The taste is definitely that of a strong black tea, but not so strong that it makes your mouth pucker.  This is where the Ruhuna blend stands out. It doesn’t have the fuzzy and chocolatey mouthfeel of some assam or malty breakfast teas.  But it is not sharp or bitter like other brighter black teas I’ve tried, even after a longer steep time.

Ruhuna is powered by its citrus flavors, tasting as sunny and lemony as you can without adding flavoring or lemon peel to the tea.  Beneath that first flush of lemon, there are sweeter orange notes, all supported by a a robust and figgy black tea base.

Sweet without being artificial, and bright without being too tart, it is easy to enjoy such an uplifting and drinkable tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Zesta Tea
Description:

Enjoy our regional tea packs featuring teas from five tea growing regions of Sri Lanka – Dimbula, Ruhuna, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Uva. This variety from such a small island is what made Ceylon tea famous – try it – from the low grown Ruhuna teas to the high grown Nuwara Eliya – a true journey in Ceylon tea, packaged in teabags for convenience and offered in a pine wood box. Perfect for gifting.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Zesta Connoisseur Collection Jasmine Green Bags. . . .

Let’s face it, pre-bagged teas have a bad rap in our circles. I saw some broken leaves, similar to Cut-Tear-Curl but not as uniformly cut.

Although Zesta recommends boiling water for this Jasmine Green, I’m much too impatient for all that waiting to heat up then waiting to be drinkable. I brewed at 160F and discovered a sunny, pollen-yellow liquor, with a strong jasmine scent.

Half the amount of sweetener I usually use brought out the green tea flavors considerably. I can taste the quality in the perfume of the Jasmine flowers, even though they’ve been removed from the pyramid. Jasmine really is the star of the show here.

All in all, Zesta offers a strong floral, yet inexpensive Jasmine tea bag.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: Zesta

This delicately fragrant green tea adds a touch of beauty to your day with its imprint of natural Jasmine petals. Zesta’s Jasmine green tea is an exotic tea that can be enjoyed any time of day and is great as an accompaniment to food.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!