Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What-Cha: Ceylon Golden Tips Black Tea, A Tea Review

Well, the inevitable happened, I have become addicted to another game. This time around it is the game Plague Inc that has hooked me, it is a strategy game where you play as a strain of (in my case) bacteria trying to wipe out humanity. I also hate this game because I spent hours staring at my phone playing and did not win a single game, this game is hard! Currently I am playing the free version, but I really want the full version, but no offense phone, I want it on my computer. Sadly I lack the $15 to shell out on a new game, and if I had it I would be putting it towards finally getting Minecraft on the PC, le sigh, so many games, so little time.

Today's tea for What-Cha Wednesday is Ceylon Golden Tips Black Tea, it is so fuzzy and pretty, very golden! Ok, you guys caught me red handed, I spent way too much time staring at the leaves, they are adorably downy, like little caterpillars, though what really struck me was how they have a slight silvery sheen to them, unlike the fuzzy golds from China, which are Shining Gold (yes like the Citadel paint) these have a dullness too them. This tea fascinated me, though I do wish there had been a tiny bit more information as to where in Sri Lanka they come from. The aroma of the fuzzy leaves is iconically a Ceylon, it is brisk and bright, but it also has notes of oak wood, roasted peanuts, distant flowers, malt, and fruit. The fruit notes are muscatel and cherry, in fact, this tea reminds me of a three way dance between an Assam, Ceylon, and Darjeeling, how fascinating! The aroma is not overwhelmingly strong, it is delicate and a bit pretty, much like the leaves themselves.

I waffled back and forth as to whether or not I wanted to go Western or Gongfu style for steeping, deciding on Gongfu for now. The aroma of the now soggy and not quite so golden leaves is pretty malty and brisk, it wakes up my nose with an almost effervescent quality (I love when I have an excuse to use that word) the sharp notes of oak wood blend with a touch of flowers and muscatel sweetness. The liquid lacks all briskness, it is smooth and sweet with notes of malt and a creamy touch of cocoa, it is almost like night and day!

The first steep is surprisingly light in color and taste, also the brew is cloudy from all the leaf fuzz, this might be the first time I have ever wanted a strainer because I am pretty sure I could have made an adorable little fluff ball out of all the fuzz. The taste starts out with delicate notes of fresh grapes and malt, this transitions to cocoa that lingers. I am surprised at how smooth the mouthfeel is, I was expecting it to be all tickly from the fuzz.

The second steep, oddly, has pretty much no aroma at all, there is a tiny hint of malt and that it is. The taste was also a bit odd, there was a surprising note of rich yam and a bit of malt, that was about it. It was strange how this tea seemed to lack all body and yet had such a rich yam note.

So, clearly I need to steep this tea Western style to see how it compares, and I can safely say that this tea is one of the strangest I have encountered! While it lacked any and all body, it had a really delicious taste. The taste is a blend of raisins, malt, a touch of cocoa and a tiny bit of maple syrup at the finish. I am baffled how a tea can have a lovely taste but absolutely no substance and weight, it was like drinking warm flavored water instead of tea. It confuses me! It does not taste stale or off in anyway, just like the 'cha qi' or lifeforce of the tea has been removed, maybe this tea was attacked by a tea vampire or something. I dunno, I feel very conflicted by this tea, it tasted nice but was so lacking in oomph, so yeah, I am going to blame pixies or something fantasy related as to why this was the case.

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