I’ve held this off, and was time to finish the 2021 sample. Thank you Alistair for this one, and now, I can properly appreciate it. Whole and golden kissed black needles fell into my tea vessel, having decent length and much larger than usual ceylon size.
So I started indecisive between gong fuing my sample or having it western. Everyone recommended 3 minutes, so I started it out that way in my Manual Tea Brewer (westernized gaiwan) with a slight sip. Light, citrus, caramel, smooth. Not expecting that. A little bit too light, so I let it sit more…then one or two minutes extra as I did some chores. I’m not going to say anything new other than its a smooth and easily drinkable ceylon. I get notes of malt, caramel, oats, citrus rising in the mouth, and a caramel, almost cocoa finish ending in tannin. There was some extra bitterness, but a chocolate kind if tea bitterness.
There was mild astringency, and I was impressed with how smooth the body is. What-cha aims for smooth qualities in all of their teas-hence why I buy from the company so often. It’s got the trademarks of Ceylon teas, but it’s so much easier on the palette than the majority I’ve had.
I decided to go so much shorter, brewing 10 seconds, and it was smooth dark chocolate malt, tea tasting, with some healthy citrus and tannin.
Another 10-15 seconds, less water-3-4 oz, and citrus/orange leads the way. Malty finish still there with a little bit of tannin, yet precisely balanced and mildly drying.
I am going to be able to get more cups, but before I do, I’m pretty much set on what I think. And I have to workout. Time is of the essence.
I’m thankful that Alistair included it because I’m usually one to snub Ceylons and some Assams. I know they are essential for most breakfast teas and the blends I drink regularly, but they’re usually too drying, astringent, or tannic for me. This one was a lot more balanced and resembled some good Yunnan blacks, though the chocolate toffee tannin aftertaste is distinctly Ceylon. Keep in mind I’m using “chocolate” as an approximate adjective and not a accurate one, but it’s got the same bittersweetness chocolate does, and that’s what a lot of people like in their tea. It’s not super robust, and it stands on its own legs easily while being soft and nuanced enough to drink it straight.
Although I won’t have this in my consistent rotation (because I pay too much for other tea), it stands out as one of the easiest to drinks Ceylons I’ve had yet. I think it’s a good stepping stone noob tea, and I’m glad Alistair used it as a way to expand some palettes here on Steepster.
Flavors: Caramel, Citrus, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Malt, Oats, Orange Zest, Smooth, Tannic, Tea, Toffee, Wood