This terrific example of a high-grown organic Ceylon tea hails from Sri Lanka's eastern Uva District, grown between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. Fair Trade Certified, this organic black tea is composed of finely twisted leaves of uniform size and dark brown color. Its mahogany infusion represents the best of high-grown organic tea, with a complex flavor profile, light body and classic brisk character.
Ingredients: organic Sri Lankan black tea
Serving Size: one generous teaspoon (1.5) per 8 oz cup of water
Aubrey Says: This is a fantastic Ceylon - I like drinking it in the evening because of its laidback quality.
Jeremy Says: A wonderful, straightforward black tea that I can drink every day.
Posted by Cassidy on 29th May 2015
I believe I have found the perfect black tea for me! I discovered what the “stone fruit” description is. I never knew what that tasted like but here it is in this incredible tea!! Both iced and hot this Ceylon just hits the spot! I brewed at 195 and 208 both for 4 min. Both temperatures worked but I do enjoy 195 degrees more seems to bring out more juiciness!
Posted by Willgasm on 21st Feb 2015
This tea has a great depth of flavor right up front without being overpowering, no lingering aftertaste to speak of, and I dare say a hint of sweetness. Overall, a nice mellow cup. The only real fault I can find is that almost all that flavor is gone with the second infusion; visibly lighter in fact.
Posted by Lukasz on 6th Dec 2011
I purposely waited 9+ months to review this tea in order to provide a true assessment of it. I ordered this tea in bulk and stored it inside the large air tight metal containers sold here.
First infusion of this tea is good, not great, with some sour tones. Multiple infusions are very bland and lack character. You really need to increase the amount of tea in the first place if you want multiple infusions to be enjoyed. I would not purchase this tea again.
Posted by Kristen B. on 29th Sep 2011
Of all kinds of tea, black is my favorite. This summer I tried a lot of different samples to make iced black tea and this one stood out WAY above all the rest. Outstanding flavor!!!!!!! This tea has that black tea flavor that I love and that I don't know how to describe. I'm certain I will love it hot also.
Posted by Pat Mount on 18th Dec 2009
This is my absolute favorite tea and believe me when I tell you I have drunk a lot of tea in the past 30 years. It has a gorgeous color is smooth and never bitter and I prefer it to most other teas. I recently used the last of my stash to make tea for a friend who proclaimed it to be the best cup of tea she had ever had. I totally agree!
We at Arbor Teas firmly believe that tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. With that being said, here are some recommendations to get you started, but please remember you can make adjustments based on your own personal taste.
There are three main considerations when brewing tea: quantity of tea, water temperature and steeping time.
Quantity of tea: one generous teaspoon (1.5) per 8 oz cup of water
Water temperature: use water that has been heated to a full rolling boil (212° F)
Steeping time: 3-5 minutes
Tip #1: Use fresh water whenever possible - water that has been sitting in your kettle overnight may impart a flat or stale taste to your tea. Be careful not to boil your water for too long. Over boiled water can sometimes impart an unwanted taste.
Tip #2: Keep in mind that brewing your tea for too long can extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves, so steeping time matters! For a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea.
Learn more from our How To Guides on how to brew loose leaf tea, how to make iced tea, and how to make tea lattes. And don’t forget to check out our Eco-Brewing Tips, too!
There are five significant components found in all tea from the plant camellia sinensis: essential oils, which are the source of tea’s delicious flavor and aroma; polyphenols, which are antioxidants that provide the tea’s brisk flavor and many of its health benefits; phytonutrients, which are small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids including L-theanine (a very rare molecule that has been found in only three sources including camellia sinensis!) ; enzymes; and methylxanthines, which are a family of alkaloids that include caffeine. Each of these components work differently in the human body and a full description is best left to a medical journal. However, recent research exploring the potential health attributes of tea is leading many scientists to agree that tea, may contribute positively to a healthy lifestyle.
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Health Benefits check here.
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Caffeine check here.
Curiously, the story of Ceylon teas begins not with Camellia sinensis at all, but rather, with cinnamon. The island now known as Sri Lanka was historically referred to as “Ceylon” by the British colonial powers, until it gained independence in 1972 – hence, the name of Ceylon teas. The first Europeans to colonize the island were the Dutch, which controlled the island and its peoples from the middle of the seventeenth century until the very end of the nineteenth century, and during that time, they grew tremendous amounts of cinnamon.
Shortly after the British took control of Ceylon, the bottom fell out of the cinnamon market, forcing the colonial powers to invest in another cash crop: coffee. From about 1840 until 1870, there was a coffee ‘boom’ that drove prices through the roof and made it unbelievably profitable. Unfortunately, in the mid 1860’s, a coffee blight struck Ceylon, destroying thousands of plantations and once again pushing another crop into the spotlight: tea.
Tea was introduced to Sri Lanka around the same time as coffee – around 1824 – the key difference being that coffee was introduced as a cash crop, while the tea plant that arrived that year was merely added to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It was not until 1867 that a British man named James Taylor decided to plant a tea plantation at Loolecondera, an estate in the central highlands region of the island. In 1875, Taylor’s first shipment of tea arrived in London –a meager 23 pounds – but by 1890, his Loolecondera plantation was shipping 22,900 tons of tea back to England and tea had become Ceylon’s primary source of revenue.
For information on other traditions or to submit your own tea tradition visit our Tea Traditions section.