Saturday Morning Tea


On this cool, rainy almost Spring morning, I am sipping a Ceylon (Sri Lanka) black tea from the Tea Bank estate. The tightly twisted leaves in the “spider leg” style are not characteristic Ceylon nor is the flavor. It reminds me more of a China black tea.

Tea growing in Sri Lanka was started in the late 1800s by a Scottish gentleman by the name of James Taylor. Up until that time, coffee was the number one crop until a rust fungus killed the majority of coffee plants. Starting with a basic tea cultivation knowledge learned in Northern India and 19 acres of land, he soon turned a small business into a very successful one, selling his tea for the first time at the London auction by 1873.


Even after a full 5 minute steep in boiling water, the leaves are still tightly curled. The aroma is darkly sweet, like a winey Keemun. The liquor is very dark, almost like black coffee, with rich notes of vanilla and caramel.

This would be an excellent choice for anyone switching from coffee to tea. Time for another cup!

5 comments on “Saturday Morning Tea

  1. Steph W says:

    Thank you for sharing this history with us!!!

  2. dave says:

    To me, this tea tastes like a China Yunnan that Upton had in limited quantities a few years ago. They were still on South St.

  3. artandtea says:

    You’re welcome Steph!

    Yes I agree Dave, this tea tastes very much like a China black. All of those “spider leg” teas have a similar flavor profile.

  4. […] can read about how tea cultivation came to the island of Sri lanka in one of my previous posts here. Originally, coffee was grown […]

  5. […] I have read that the Ceciliyan estate is located right on the edge of a tropical rain forest in the southwest Ruhuna district of Sri Lanka. This unique micro climate produces tea leaf yielding a thick caramel-y cup of tea. Its “spider leg” leaf style, designated as FBOPF Ex. Spl., results in a tea that has notes reminding me of a China black tea. I’ve written about another “spider leg” tea here. […]

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