Review of Ceylon (Ceylon Orange Pekoe)

8 of 105 of 55 of 587 of 100

My favorite pure black tea from Ahmad Tea, and my favorite tea from any company in this price range.

If I had to pick a single example of a classic black tea, I would pick this one.

Like most of Ahmad's teas, I find this one offers exceptional value: solid quality at a very low price. It is versatile and easy to brew.

Brews a rich, full-bodied cup. Smooth enough that it is hard to oversteep. I've left this tea brewing by accident for about 15 minutes and it was perfectly drinkable--just richer in flavor. Ahmad recommends a 5-7 minute steeping time, and I agree--this tea tastes better brewed stronger. Some of the complexity is lost with a 3-minute or briefer steeping.

Aroma is very complex, especially with longer steeping times. Some malty tones, hints of fruit, and a bready and slightly vegetal quality suggestive of some Yunnan teas. A faint hint of wintergreen is evident if you brew it very strongly. The finish leaves tones of bitter chocolate and cinnamon.

Flavor is surprisingly smooth. There's a little up-front bitterness, and a light bitterness in the aftertaste. Very full-bodied...slightly astringent but not too much so.

I find this tea is more pleasing to drink if you allow it to cool a little after steeping it, but drink it while it is still hot.

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