Review of Pure Ceylon Tea (FBOPF "SP")

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 105 of 55 of 589 of 100
ExcellentExcellentOutstanding

Wow, this tea offers the most exceptional value of any tea I've ever tried. It was $6.50 for a pound, yet was better than many artisan teas I've had for over 6 times the price. Similar to Ahmad Tea's Ceylon (one of my favorites), but a smidge cheaper and I think I slightly prefer this one.

The leaf consists of fairly large, broken pieces, and it smells pleasant, but not very strongly until brewing. Because the smell wasn't strong, I initially didn't expect much.

When you brew this tea, however, it becomes richly aromatic. The aroma is malty, with a toasty quality and some floral notes. Like a top-quality Ceylon tea. The flavor is what I'd expect from a middle-of-the-road Ceylon, strong, but a little less than a typical Assam.

The flavor is bold but surprisingly sweet too. The sweetness is something I rarely encounter outside of top-grade teas, unbroken grades (GFOP, TGFOP, and up). The cup is very smooth. The color is very rich, a dark reddish-brown, thick looking, and thick tasting, but surprisingly low in astringency for a tea of this strength and price.

This tea is very easy to brew, and compared with other broken-leaf teas, it surprised me by resteeping well. If you use a heaping teapsoon and steep for three minutes, you can get a second, perfectly flavorful cup by making a long (8-12ish minute) second infusion. Alternatively you can use a little less leaf and steep it 5-8 minutes and do it only once. It's very good both ways. A longer steep brings out the toasty notes, shorter emphasizes the sweetness. Astringency is surprisingly low.

I can't emphasize how much I've been wowed by this tea. I think I have discovered a new staple that I will probably always keep in my cupboard. When I'm not reviewing small-batch artisan teas, I drink a lot of strong black tea, and this far exceeds my expectations for an everyday tea. It's wonderful!

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Comments:

Tchuggin' Okie wrote:
on March 23rd, 2018

Given how many teas you've tried and reviewed, and your obviously finely tuned tea-tasting expertise, that's an impressive testimony! That hit a lot of my favorite keywords (strong, sweet, thick). When I run out of my current batch of every-day loose black (still a few months away...big tin), I'll have to find some of this.

Alex Zorach wrote:
on March 23rd, 2018

Yeah! I don't say this lightly...this tea really surprised me. I've tried a number of these basic black tea brands where it's inexpensive and comes in a big container, and it's always taking a risk, but I've discovered enough gems (Ahmad Tea being the biggest one worth mentioning) to make it worthwhile.

This one is a whole new level though...I wasn't expecting something this good, at a price point slightly lower than Ahmad.

Ahmad still wins in the variety...there's a long list of loose-leaf teas from them that are in a similar price range, and they're consistently good, I like some better than others but I think they all offer excellent value.

Still, if I were to point to a single one of these inexpensive but good-quality everyday teas, this one is a clear leader.

Teuvo wrote:
on July 3rd, 2018

This sounds very familiar, since the Earl Grey from the same brand, despite being one of the cheapest teas I've encountered, is absolutely fantastic.

If I drank more black tea, I wouldn't hesitate to try this! (It's not a lot of money, but it'd be a shame to let such a large quantity of tea sit forgotten in a corner...)

Kimi wrote:
on February 26th, 2020

What region is this tea from? Is it high grown? Thanks.

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