Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What-Cha: Ceylon Amba Hand-Rolled Black Tea, A Tea Review

Happy National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day...wait...that was on the 12th and it is the 13th...crap. I was going to have this big speech about how Fibromyalgia affects lives and how more research needs to be done and people need to be aware of it, but nope, I lost track of what day it is. Bringing me to my personal biggest 'crutch' of having this syndrome...Fibrofog. The combination of pain, fatigue, and cognitive impairment makes it feel like your brain is locked in a fog bank, it is what causes me to repeat questions, forget things, trail off mid-sentence, leave my waffles in the toaster only to find them the next day when I go to make waffles, make a to-do list and lose the list, lose something right in front of me...I could go on with this, but I think you get the point. As someone who prides themselves on their mind being sharp, Fibrofog is like adding insult to injury, I can take the pain, but I really can't take the derp. So there, my Fibro-awareness day a day late!

Ok, time to put the sad, tiny, violin away and stop whinging, tis Wednesday and time for a tea from What-Cha! Today we are looking at Ceylon Amba Hand-Rolled Black Tea, a tea from the Amba Tea Estate in Ceylon, plucked February of 2015 (ooh so recent!) and of the Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe Grade 1 variety. I admit, I do not try a lot of Ceylon teas, mainly because I used to have those generic Ceylon teabags back when I made iced that is totally unfair because the higher end Ceylon loose leaf teas I have had have been pretty fantastic, so let us see how these curly leaves compare. The aroma is delightfully nutty, blending sweet notes and peanuts, so it reminds me of peanut brittle. There is an underlying note of yams and a touch of dried cherry and apricot. I like the fruity touches at the end, the sweetness pleases me.

Oh man, I cannot type tonight! I keep messing things up and having to redo it, my fingers are all floppy. The brewing leaves smell more like I expect a Ceylon to smell, very bright and brisk with a touch of lemon peel and oak wood sharpness. There are also notes of sweet yams, peanuts, and pepper at the finish. The beautiful amber liquid smells, for lack of a better word, lively! It is one of those teas that smell like a wake up call, like after school and you need tea to wake you up...or was that just me? The aroma blends oak wood and gently roasted peanuts, there is a brittle like sweetness at the finish and a touch of distant citrus.

Tasting time! I was tasting this tea in the afternoon, so I was glad that the aroma of this tea seemed very much something I would want as an afternoon pick-me-up, and very excited to see if it would transfer over in taste. The first thing I noticed was how it was a blend of bright and mellow, the mouthfeel has a smooth and slightly tingly texture, with a slight dryness at the finish. The taste starts out with sweet peanuts and yams, this moves to malt and a touch of citrus, and the finish is peanut brittle sweetness. I am tempted to try this at a later time with cream and sugar, but I so rarely drink my tea like that anymore that I was totally out of cream...err...half & half, and I refuse to use skim milk because ewww. I think this would be an excellent tea to have at Afternoon Tea, complete with a side of scones.

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