Oliphant Estate Ceylon OPA (TC47)
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From Upton Tea
This is a green tea from Sri Lanka. It has very full, whole leaves that are slightly curled and are mostly dark green, with a few reddish ones mixed in. The dry leaves smell a bit like tobacco.
When brewed as instructed, the leaves yield a rich, aromatic cup with a dark aroma, smokey, and tobacco-like. Yet some more delicate floral tones and some mellow planty tones also linger. Fairly bitter, and yet with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Quite delicious. This tea is outstanding to complement spicy foods, and is also delicious on its own: it is a powerful tea that holds its own, but it has great subtlety as well. And for its strength and bitterness, this tea lacks the unpleasant astringency that many of the stronger green teas exhibit.
If you go for multiple infusions you will find each cup has a radically different character. The first cup takes the smokey, rich characters, and the second is much lighter, with more of a fresh aroma suggestive of celery or parsley, and only a hint of smokiness. I would recommend to brew the first cup only 2 minutes or so if you want to do multiple infusions, or else the second cup will be rather bland.
I find this tea to be truly outstanding. It is inexpensive as whole-leaf green teas go, and it will be greatly appreciated by those who like stronger green teas.