|"Teas with strong history like this ceylon from serendipiTEA always make me feel like a king while I sip away carelessly."|
This tea in particular is from a company called serendipiTEA based out of new york. We actually feature the company here at the Culinary Institute of America, but rest assured, that is not the reason for my review today. I wanted to dive into the world of unflavored, unscented, traditional teas, to really learn about the flavor of the leaves, not what people add to them. This ceylon really surprised me, being malty and astringent, but smooth and well rounded. The dry leaves were very dark colored with tinges of red and green. The leaf style is full buds with the leaves being rolled length wise resulting in a long leaf that unfurls beautifully upon infusion. The aroma of the dry leaves was malty, musky, and pleasant.
I brewed the tasting sample in my 4 oz Ceramic Cupping Set, using only a single teaspoon of leaves. The leaves were steeped in 190ºF filtered water for 4 minutes. The wet leaves and liquor were then evaluated. Starting with the wet leaves, when they were drained, they took on a more amber color. You could see more green tints on the leaf showing the degree of oxidation of each individual leaf. The aroma did not change from that of the dry leaves but reminded me of a homey traditional cup of tea from when I was young. The liquor was very brisk to start but then mellowed out to a softer mouth feel. The astringency was noticed but did not linger too long. After a few sips, I felt the tea starting to lose some luster and fall flat. The body is in between heavy cream and water, a delicate balance that I happen to enjoy. I feel that this tea overall, is a slight level up from the average bagged black tea and due to that fact I rate this tea a 6.
My personal preference for this type of black tea is to add a splash of milk or cream and a slight pinch of sugar to alleviate the bite of the tannins. Teas of this nature remind me of its british roots from high tea ceremonies of the british monarch! Preparing it with cream and sugar just makes me feel so regal while I sip on the cup elegantly.
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