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The 2nd of 3 Ceylon teas I helped my humans review recently.
The Subject: Ceylon Tea from Baktat.
Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings added: N/A
Aroma, dry tea leaves: Raisiny/malty
Aroma in the cup, plain: Rich malty/raisiny
Taste in the cup, plain: Raisiny, malty, not bitter, no aftertaste
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: See comments
Taste in the cup, enhanced: See comments
Additional Infusion(s): Did one, not recommended
This is a full leaf loose tea that we steeped loose in the teapot. The leaves would never have a chance to fully impart their flavor into the water if confined in an infuser basket or teaball.
One thing to note is that we bought this 250g bag about 3 or maybe even 4 years ago at a local market that specializes in items from the Mideast. Since the bag has 2 transparent panels, we’ve kept the tea, bag and all, inside another bag that is wholly opaque and made sure that both are sealed to keep out air. As a result, the tea leaves yielded a liquid that we were quite pleased with and equaled what we experienced back then.
The directions on the side of the bag, which I couldn’t manage to get a decent photo of, are for preparing in a samovar. Not having one handy, we stuck with our teapot method. We also used the guidelines we follow for most black teas: boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. This did well enough, but I think it could be improved upon. First, I tell the results of this way of preparing.
The liquid was a reddish-brown color with a rich malty/raisiny aroma. The raisiny flavor hit the sides of my mouth as I swallowed. There was no bitterness or aftertaste, even as the tea cooled. It did tend to weaken in flavor, though.
You will most assuredly get only one decent steeping this 2nd way, but don’t worry about being wasteful. Even when we did the regular 5-minute-steep, the 2nd infusion was weak, tasting like lightly-flavored water. Not recommended. Go ahead and make yourselves the best 1st steep and enjoy it with some lightly flavored cookies or whatever else you fancy.
In summary: For drinking straight, use a bit less amount of tea leaves and steep for no longer than 5 minutes. For drinking with milk and sweetener, use a bit more amount of tea leaves and steep for at least 6 minutes, perhaps even 7 minutes. Don’t expect to get a second steep either way.
Disclaimer: This tea was purchased by the reviewer at a local Mideast market. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.