Etambagahawila Estate Ceylon OP1 Black Tea from Capital Teas

EtambugahawilaEstateTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Capital Tea Limited

Tea Description:

Well made beautiful even and neat black wiry leaves with good sheen from Sri Lanka’s Galle region. These aromatic leaves produce a medium to strong tasting tea liquor with ample body and prominent sweet flavour and aroma notes reminiscent of sugar candy.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a really flavorful, strong Ceylon!  I’m not used to a Ceylon being as full-flavored as this!  But it’s a bold, flavorful Ceylon with a really lovely burnt sugar caramel sweetness.

It’s a pleasantly smooth Ceylon too.  It has some astringency to it, but it’s more like the tangy-tart qualities of a citrus fruit than a really jarring astringent tone.

There are some notes of malt to this cup too.  The way the malt notes meld with the caramel notes is quite lovely and makes for a really enjoyable tea experience.

This has many of the qualities I expect from a Ceylon – a smooth, even flavor, for example.  But I like the unexpected qualities that I’m discovering – the rich, bold flavor!  It’s an invigorating tea that would take to the additions of milk and honey well if you’re looking to make this your next breakfast tea.  This would be a good breakfast tea for those days when you’re looking for that gentle shake awake.  It’s got a robust flavor but a non-aggressive attitude.

A really nice tea.  I enjoyed about half my cup and then I was distracted from my tea for a while and when I came back to the cup, it was cold (yes, this does happen a lot, that’s the way it works when you’re a mom!) but even as a cold tea, it’s quite delicious!

Vietnam Black Tea OP1 from Single Origin Teas

Vietnam-OP1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Single Origin Teas

Tea Description:

An unusual black tea with a faint spiced aroma.  Freshly dried black pepper and cinnamon tastes overlay this full-bodied black.  A good tea for the winter, or for making Chai!

Vietnam is one of the lesser known tea producing countries.  Ranked as the 6th highest producing country for tea, we enjoy the unique spicy terroir of this brew.  Our Vietnam Black OP1 does not come from a single farmer, but a cooperative in northern Vietnam.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The dry leaf of this Vietnam Black Tea OP1 from Single Origin Teas is beautiful, with varying shades of deep chocolate brown, russet and even some golden tips.  The leaves are small and wiry, and have an aroma that is earthy and has some hints of spice.

The brewed tea allows the nose to enjoy more of the spice that I noticed before I brewed the tea.  There is not so much of the earthiness that I noted.  The tea smells warm and welcoming, like something you would want to curl up to on a cold winter morning.

And the flavor is much like the aroma:  warm and welcoming.  It is a rich and robust tea – one that would be great for a morning tea.  It would make a fabulous latte!

It has a sweet, honey undertone, with middle layers of earth and leather and hints of flower in the distance.  There is an indistinct fruit note to this, reminding me of raisins.  The top notes are slightly peppery and as the description suggests … cinnamon-y!  It almost tastes as though this tea was delicately spiced, but these flavors are natural to the tea leaf.

I have to agree with the description that suggests that this tea would make a wonderful base for a chai – it would!  If I were in the tea blending business still, I’d probably choose this and a robust Assam and blend the two together for a chai base.  Mmm!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to try Vietnamese teas but the few that I have tried, I have really enjoyed.  This one from Single Origin Teas is no exception, in fact, this one may just be the most memorable of the few that I’ve tasted.  It’s really an exceptional tea – one I’d highly recommend to all tea enthusiasts out there.  TRY THIS TEA!

Vithanakanda Estate OP1 Black Tea from Empire Tea Services


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Empire Tea Services

Tea Description:

Fancy extra large wiry leaf. Smooth taste. Exceptional.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The above description for this Vithanakanda Estate OP1 Black Tea from Empire Tea Services is short and simple … but it is also spot-on!  This cup is indeed smooth tasting and truly exceptional!  One of the best examples of high-quality Ceylon teas I’ve tasted.

From the very first sip, I’ve been WOWing on this tea!  That is to say, from that very first sip, the first word I uttered is wow!  It is smooth from start to finish … absolutely no bitterness.  Just smooth, rich taste that starts off sweet with notes of honeyed caramel, and a few moments later, I notice a rich malty tone.

Moments later, a fruity note comes in to play with hints of flower in the distance.  The finish is sweet with a citrus taste that is faintly tangy … and it is here that I notice a slight – ever so slight! – astringency.  I find that the astringency becomes apparent only when I’m really focusing and trying to find it … so for those of you who tend to avoid teas with an astringent finish, I think this one will be to your liking.

Having recently reviewed another Ceylon from this estate, I have to say that the Vithanakanda estate is turning out to be one of my favorites for Ceylon tea.  The teas produced on this estate are of the utmost quality:  rich, smooth and delicious and beyond what I’ve come to expect from a typical Ceylon.  This is the good stuff!

This tea is very pleasing.  A medium to full tasting tea, not what I’d call particularly invigorating the way you’d expect an Assam to be, for example, but, it does have a strong, brisk taste that would make a good pick-me-up when you need something that will recharge you.  Enough flavor to hold up well if you like to add milk and honey to your tea … but enjoyable enough to drink straight-up too!