Review of Altınbaş Çayi (Altinbas Cayi)

8 of 105 of 55 of 583 of 100

I recently sampled this, mentally comparing it with the Filiz Cayi from Caykur. I thought this tea was delightful, I think a much better tea than the Filiz Cayi, which was pleasant, light and smooth, but without much depth.

Using a teaspoon of leaf and a 3 minute steep, brews up a light body, with a clear liquor. Flavor is smooth, with a light bitterness. Just enough astringency to impart some body, light without being thin. Aroma is complex, herbaceous with tones of spice. Compare to a lighter Darjeeling or high-grown Ceylon, but with very different aromatic qualities. I like brewing it a little more strongly, which makes the cup darker and richer without being too strong. The leaf is sort of airy and lightweight, taking up a lot of space in spite of being finely broken, so I think you need a bit more volume to get the same weight of leaf.

Very low price, especially for a tea of this quality. A tad pricier than some of the other Turkish black teas under the Caykur brand, but still cheaper than most black teas in this price range, readily available for under $7 a pound (some of the other black teas are under $5 a pound, in my opinion it's more than worth paying a few extra dollars for this one). Plus it's organically grown (as all tea produced in Turkey is, although it doesn't have organic certification).

I definitely recommend this one. I have yet to try all the other black teas from Caykur, but of the ones I've sampled, this stands out so far as the best.

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