|"The aroma they gave off was also unusual, resembling chocolate-covered cherries dipped in brandy."|
The TeaVert profile mentions that this Ceylon orange pekoe differs from others because whole leaves were used, not cut. The leaves were indeed long, twisty, with a black sheen that made them look Assam-grown. The aroma they gave off was also unusual, resembling chocolate-covered cherries dipped in brandy. A far cry different from the "honey and spice" comparison given on the website.
Brewing instructions were incredibly heavy. TeaVert recommended boiled water and a five-minute steep. I usually never exceeded three minutes - tending to like my black teas on the fairer side of un-astringent - but I went with 1 tsp in 8oz steeped for five...hoping for the best.
It brewed to a sparkling cherry red with a dry but malty nose. Astringency on taste was my first concern. However, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. I expected a bitter forefront on the initial sip, but what I got was a smooth, transitionally robust liquor with only a bit of dryness in the middle. No cotton-mouthy finish. Like other Ceylons, it held its floral characteristics; not as much as the high-altitude varieties but close. And, of course, there was maltiness, close in flavor to a hearty Assam without the bite.
Ceylon teas were my gateway into black tea appreciation. I trusted their lighter approach. While this was darker than I was used to - likely due to the longer brewing time - it still held fast to the terrific trappings of its namesake.
» Read more about this reviewer on Geoff's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Geoff.