Review of Premium Full Leaf Tea

9 of 104 of 55 of 583 of 100

I picked this up in a Middle Eastern grocery near Detroit, MI. I bought a 250g pouch of tea that turned out to be double-bagged with an outer mylar pouch and a thin plastic bag inside. The tea is quite broken and in relatively small pieces, but quite aromatic even when dry. It smells of caramel and pastry, like slightly overbaked cookies.

Steeping the tea expands the aroma and in addition to baked goods, a number of sweet, dark and vegetal notes emerge. I smell dates, prunes and molasses. The tea's moderate astringency and light, but pronounced bitterness combine with the toasted notes to give the overall impression of unsweetened cocoa. This fades quickly to a lingering finish of tannic oak that at first reminds me of oaked red wine and ends with an almost medicinal bitterness of cherry bark or gentian (think cocktail bitters) and a bit of hardwood smoke. While this tea's front notes are definitely characteristic of a Ceylon, its astrigency and bitterness would be more at home in an Assam tea. It's not harsh or unpleasant and I find it well-balanced, but neither is it as mellow as most premium Sri Lankan teas. I guess I would sum this tea up as delicious, but uncharacteristic.

The 250g bag that I bought was $6 and 500g (a bit over a pound) was $9.

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