Monday, October 6, 2014

The Persimmon Tree, Ceylon Black

The Persimmon Tree Description:
Brighten your afternoons and evenings with a cup of Ceylon Black. This loose-leaf black tea is cultivated near the southern slope of Sri Lanka's highest mountain, and brews a bright cup with a flowery and fruity finish. This all-time favorite is wonderful hot or iced.

Sample provided by The Persimmon Tree

My Review:
I have been drinking tea my whole adult life. Ceylon tea is like the granddaddy of teas to me. I've had it a thousand times in breakfast blends and as the base for most flavored black teas, including my beloved Earl Grey. Yet, I don't ever recall drinking it unflavored in a loose leaf cup.

As a base I have always preferred Ceylon because it stands up to flavoring and comes through the mix to be tasted. At a full boil it has quite a nice bite that I always expected in my Earl Grey. I have only recently begun lowering the temperature and discovering it produces a warm mellow cup with out bitterness.

The Persimmon Tree teas come packaged in nice tins that keep the tea fresh for an extended amount of time.

I opened the tin and gave it a whiff. It smells like tea... but then why wouldn't it. This is one of the most popular base teas used. There is a slight tobacco aroma, but yeah, it's tea.

Pouring it out on the plate brings the first surprise. I expected very generic looking black leaf. Instead, this is multicolored, with reds, greens, and browns. It sort of makes me think of Darjeeling in appearance.  The leaf is small lightly twisted pieces.

I brewed the leaf with 195 F water for 3 minutes in my trusty press.

The result is the next surprise. I expected a very dark cup of tea. This is darker than the picture suggests but at coppery orange, this is way lighter than I would have guessed.

The desk seen in the picture is very old, and tiny. It belonged to my grandmother. It's the perfect size for my small den. The Mickey Mouse lamp has been around for decades. I think we bought it for the baby room years ago. I just couldn't trash it or give it away.

Back to tea. This mug of tea is bright and clear with nothing floating in it. The wet leaf plumped up very nicely. The green and red colors stand out even more. I can't recall seeing any leaf that really compares to its appearance.

Next surprise came with the sip. It does have just a small amount of bite but certainly nothing most people would find abrasive. I don't notice any dryness. I fully expected this to be quite drying, so maybe there is a little and I am not detecting it based on what I imagined.

This is not malty. I notice I am having more trouble describing what it is than what it isn't. It is fruity. Somewhat floral. There is a touch of woodsy, earthy, leafiness.

I fully thought based on prior experience that this would be a stout, brisk, morning wake me up tea. Instead this is a nice, mellow, fruity, afternoon cuppa. I'm not sensing a huge caffeine buzz.

Later I intend to boil the time out of this until I have a dark, bitter, grab you by the throat cup, just so I can point and say, "Aha! I told you so." Until then Mickey and I think this is a delightful afternoon tea.

You can find Ceylon Black here.

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