Tea: Uva Highlands

A Ceylon Black Tea from Harney and Sons

Picture of Uva Highlands
Brand:Harney and Sons
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Uva, Sri Lanka
# Ratings:1 View All
Product page:Uva Highlands

Review of Uva Highlands

8 of 103 of 55 of 573 of 100

A potent, robust tea with a distinct wintergreen aroma that comes out more some times than others. A bit sensitive to brewing conditions, and not for the faint-hearted, but good if you want something strong, especially if you drink tea with milk. I served this to a friend who likes strong Irish Breakfast tea, and she was impressed. This reminded me a lot of a now-discontinued tea from Upton, TC53, but I liked this one better, it was slightly smoother.

The this is a finely broken, CTC tea with a dusty appearance; a few small pieces of stem or leaf stem are mixed in with the pieces of leaf. The dry leaf smells pleasing, fruity and earthy but fresh. It reminds me of the smells of my garden in October.

When I steep this, especially if I use a lot of leaf and steep for 3 minutes or so, it develops a strong wintergreen aroma that I just love, but the aroma is also very multifaceted. I love it, so much of the "forest floor" smells, moss and pine and wintergreen and earth. Flavor is bold, strong. This tea is pretty tannic, there's both a lot of bitterness and astringency, and the tea is also quite savory (umami). Overall effect is a very thick, full-bodied mouthfeel. Brewed this way, the wintergreen is so dominant in this tea, it is evident all the time: just smelling the cup, the whole way through the sip, and as a prominent note in the finish.

I loved this tea, but it was a bit harsh, and I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. This is one of those teas where there is a tradeoff, I tolerate the harshness of flavor and palate because the aroma is so wonderful and complex, but I'd have to be in the right mood for it.

I tried experimenting with quantity of leaf and steeping time. You can get this tea to taste gentler, but unfortunately, the aroma loses its complexity (and the wintergreen aroma becomes more subtle). I thought the tea perfectly pleasant this way, but it loses its uniqueness. If you use a short (1-2 min.) first steep, you can resteep it, although the second cup isn't as interesting. I don't usually drink tea with milk, but this tea works beautifully if you do, it holds its own against the milk, and the milk softens the edge and enables you to brew it more strongly than you otherwise could.

Good price.

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