Tea: Divine Highlands
Reviewer: Alex Zorach
✓ 1284 teas reviewed
✓ 38 of Ceylon Black Tea
✓ 13 of teakruthi
✓ 5 from Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Review of Divine Highlands
January 31st, 2017
This was remarkable, it was like a smoother rendition of a Darjeeling first flush. I found it hard to brew but once I figured it out, it was exquisite. The main downside I found about it, like some Darjeelings, I wasn't crazy about how I felt after drinking it.
Dry leaf smells fresh, bright, fruity, and suggests sweetness, and has a hint of a musky fragrance. The leafsmells a lot like a Darjeeling, with only subtle differences.
Brews a very light-colored, clear cup. This is the lightest Ceylon "black tea" I've ever had, it's a lot like the Darjeeling first flush teas that are classified as "black teas" but have a color as light as many green teas or greener oolongs.
The aroma is floral and vegetal, like honeysuckle. From smelling the brewed cup, I could be tricked into thinking this was a Darjeeling first flush, but it is much smoother, a lot less astringency than I expected based on the aroma. This makes it seem a bit thin-bodied.
I found this tea tricky to brew. It's so smooth and mild-flavored that it's possible to brew it very strongly and have it be drinkable flavor-wise, but I found it quite caffeinated and it made me a bit jittery--be careful with that! I had the best result when I lowered the water temperature, used slightly less than 1 teaspoon of leaf, and steeped for three minutes. This produced a fragrant cup that tasted like drinking flowers and honey. I was then able to brew a second cup with ease.
Even then I found I didn't like how I felt after drinking this tea. Normally I find teas, including highly-caffeinated ones, to be very calming. This tea was not calming, it made me feel agitated or on edge. I have this same problem with some lighter Darjeelings.
Is this worth the price? It's such a good tea. The tricky thing is, it's so similar to a Darjeeling that it's competing in my head against all the. I'd recommend trying this just to be wowed by what Sri Lanka is able to do, it certainly opened my mind. But among Teakruthi's teas I prefer the darker, richer ones like the Southern Malt or Rainforest Indulgence.