Organic Ceylon Black Tea

Complex flavor profile with a light body and classic brisk character

fair trade certified certified organic
Organic Ceylon Black Tea
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Organic Ceylon Black Tea


This terrific example of a high-grown organic Ceylon tea hails from the Idulgashinna Estate in Sri Lanka's southeastern 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 and Fair Trade Certified Sri Lankan black tea

Origin: Idulgashinna Estate, Uva, Sri Lanka


Uva is a province landlocked in southern Sri Lanka, and is one of the most remote parts of the country due to its difficulty of access. The climate here imparts distinct tasting notes on the high-grown tea - the region is exposed to winds from the southeast and northwest, bringing gusts of dry air to the area. Because of how arduous it is to get to Uva, tea production here relatively limited. Located near Halbummulla, the Idulgashinna Estate is celebrated as both the world’s first-ever internationally certified organic tea garden in 1987 and the first garden in Sri Lanka to produce green tea.

Steeping Instructions


At Arbor Teas, we believe tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. We’re happy to make recommendations to get you started, but don’t hesitate to experiment! When brewing your tea, your main considerations are tea quantity, water temperature, and steeping time. We recommend black teas to be steeped for 3 to 5 minutes in water heated to a full, rolling boil. For the best flavor, use fresh water whenever possible, and avoid overboiling. Try not to steep your tea longer than necessary, as you’ll extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves. If you want a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea. And don’t forget to re-steep your tea leaves to get the most out of your leaf!

Looking for more info? Check out our How-To Guides and Eco-Brewing Tips!

Staff Perspectives

  • Lea

    "This is light but it has a richness to it with a bit of a caramel note. "

  • Sarah

    "This is a fairly strong cup of black tea with a hint of plum at the end. "

  • Aubrey

    "This is a nice, high grown Ceylon - I like drinking it in the evening because of its laidback quality."

Health Benefits


Like all true tea, black tea offers many potential health benefits. Research has found that tea (Camellia sinensis) can have many positive effects on human health, including improved cardiovascular function, cancer risk reduction, improved immune function, improved oral health, and help with weight management. Tea is also full of polyphenols, which are a class of antioxidant that help your body maintain homeostasis and balance your stress levels. Black tea specifically has been found to regulate blood sugar in diabetics better than other types of tea, according to a study done by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

For more information about the health benefits of black tea and other types of tea, and for direct sources of the above information, check out our Tea Health Benefits page!

Please note: the information above is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Customer Reviews

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  • 4
    Smooth and Brassy

    Posted by Catherine Kleimeier on 9th Jan 2024

    This tea features a mellow aroma with no particular stand-out notes, a trait that carries over into the flavor. The tea brews into a smooth, brassy cup with little astringency but also very few "flavors." Perhaps hints of citrus or honey hide in the first infusion, but the second is weaker. That's not to say that this tea isn't delicious; in fact, it reminds me of a traditional southern "sweet tea," but of a magnitude higher quality. I tend to prefer teas with more complexity, and Arbor Tea's Nepal Black is currently my go-to unflavored black tea, but this would be absolutely lovely iced or lightly sweetened.

  • 5
    Organic Ceylon Black Tea

    Posted by Annie on 1st Jan 2024

    I have switched all my beverages to water and tea. I love a cup of hot tea but wanted something that would be good for cold brewing iced tea. This has a wonderful flavor for iced tea. So good.

  • 3

    Posted by Milana Peacock on 7th Nov 2023

    A bit too light and bland for my taste. I now steep two heaping spoonfuls per cup and add a splash of cream. Will not repurchase.

  • 5
    Organic Ceylon Black Tea

    Posted by joseph cauthen on 25th Feb 2023

    The IDULGASHINNA estate ranges from 5000 to 6000 feet in elevation. This also means the tea that is picked ranges in taste. The higher grown tea is generally more expensive and is a lighter color with some fruity notes. The lower grown tea is darker and more robust with fewer fruity notes. One tea company I know blends two different blends from this one estate. I may be wrong but this tea seems to have a blend that has incorporated a lot of the higher grown tea. This is just a great tea for any time of day but if you like a bold tea for breakfast this may no be your tea. I like he fruitiness of this tea and the more complex flavor.

  • 3
    not my favorite

    Posted by Skye on 28th Nov 2022

    I've been working my way through samples of every black tea that Arbor Teas offers and this is not one I will be buying a full size bag of. (For reference, so far my favorite black teas are Yunnan Gold Premium, Nepal & Lychee). This tea has a very neutral flavor so I can see it being a great base for blends or for boba as mentioned by other reviewers, but on its own I find it a bit bland, to the extent that it's the rare Arbor Tea that isn't worth steeping a second time.

  • 5
    Organic Ceylon Black Tea

    Posted by Dana DeRidder on 8th Apr 2022

    Very delighted with this black tea. Smooth and mild. Love that I can compost the packaging.

  • 5
    Perfect for Iced Tea

    Posted by Grace Callahan on 11th Aug 2021

    I drink iced tea daily and this has been a staple for my morning routine. I'm new to loose leaf tea and was worried I would have to search around for the right flavor profile for my iced tea, but this has exceeded expectations. Sometimes I mix it with the Raspberry or Cherry Sencha green teas to add a bit of fruity flavor and it compliments them very well.

  • 5
    Best quality

    Posted by Rose Sharee on 17th Mar 2021

    This tea is absolutely wonderful and a very satisfying tea.

  • 5
    Ceylon tea from Greenfield estate

    Posted by Criss on 9th Mar 2021

    We're working our way through the organic black tea sampler and with each tea we say "THIS is the best!". But I really think this one might be my fave. It is smooth, flavorful, beautifully balanced. I enjoy it straight, no milk or honey required to add flavor or cut tannins. Ironically, we had left it for last, not expecting to like it, as other organic Ceylon teas we've tried from other dealers have been dull and flavorless. Then I read the piece about the estate where this tea is grown: that really convinced me. I love this tea and I love your company. Keep up the good work, you're helping us get through the pandemic by keeping us supplied with healthy fair trade tea.

  • 4
    A good Ceylon tea

    Posted by Omar S. on 16th Oct 2020

    No surprises here. It's as you'd expect from a good Ceylon, with a smooth mild flavor and medium body. The leaves are big and beautiful, but they do not make a satisfying second infusion (which is something I'm perfectly fine with). The tea goes well with or without milk, but it's better without, as the tea's mild flavor can be lost. I personally like it best brewed with a bit of fresh mint, or a couple of cardamom pods.

  • 5
    Best Milk Tea Base

    Posted by Nadine Chen on 22nd Jun 2019

    I managed a boba shop for a few years, and it inspired me to make milk tea recipes on my own, and this tea was the best base for any drink. It tastes amazing brewed extra strong with a lot of milk to make the best, most simple tea latte.

  • 5
    Surprisingly wonderful!

    Posted by Mo-Kit on 9th Apr 2019

    I love Ceylon tea. It is my beverage of choice with a good splash of milk. I've tried many Ceylon teas from many different shops and spending way too much money to seek the best Ceylon tea. Some are worth the high cost, some are not. This is up there as one of the better ones with a decent price point and it's organic. The flavor is complex yet delicate. A keeper. I'm really please to have found you!

  • 4

    Posted by Samuel Godsey on 20th Aug 2017

    This was my first experience with Ceylon tea and I definitely see why it is such a beloved brew! It is a delicious, smooth, non-astringent and just plain delightful cup of tea! One thing I have noticed is how perfect it can be for any time of the day. While I tend to gravitate towards Chinese teas the most, I believe I will find myself coming back for more of this in the future!

  • 5
    Great Value

    Posted by Greg on 18th Aug 2017

    My wife drinks black tea every morning. This is a great tea for the money.

  • 4
    Pretty good!

    Posted by Kara on 8th May 2016

    A nice, full-bodied brew with a rich coppery finish. It's flavor is similar to the Golden Yunnan black tea but less malty and more citrusy. I definitely prefer it over the Nilgiri black tea.

  • 3
    I wish I could rate 3.5 instead of 3 or 4.

    Posted by Steven on 31st Jan 2016

    My wife has switching from using big bulk bags of tea from the local supermarket and now prefers using this to make her large vats of sweet tea. I realized, though, that I hadn't tried it out. So, I went ahead and made a plain mug of tea with this stuff. Imagine the most average black tea you've ever tasted. (Not bad, just average.) Now imagine it just a little less earthy, less bitter, and perhaps a little fruity. That's what this tea is. If you don't know whether or not you'd like a black tea and you're used to lighter teas, maybe try this first as an introduction. Oh, and only expect 1 infusion.

  • 5
    beautiful black!

    Posted by Jo on 23rd Jan 2016

    Excellent iced! We truly enjoyed this one, refreshing, full flavor, no bitterness, not wimpy.

  • 5
    I have found "The One!"

    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!

  • 3
    one and done

    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.

  • 3
    A decent tea that becomes very dull after one infusion...

    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.

  • 5
    Best Black Tea

    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.

  • 5
    Greenwood Est. Ceylon

    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!

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