Good morning, dear tea friends! Now that summer has officially arrived, the temperature has started to creep up again into the 80s and it’s time for a refreshing glass of iced tea. I think that Ceylon black teas taste fabulous iced so this morning’s tea is just that, from the Aislaby Estate in southeastern Uva province, Sri Lanka.
I have read that Uva province is the second least populated of Sri Lanka’s provinces, with only 1.1 million people. They have two main agricultural crops there: tea, grown in the hills, and sugar, grown on the plains. This particular tea estate has been owned by a British planting family that emigrated to Sri Lanka in the 1880s and has owned the estate since the 1920s.
The leaf is graded as pekoe (pronounced pe, as in pet, and koe, rhymes with toe), the definition being “a grade of black tea consisting of the leaves around the buds.” As I took photographs of both the dry and wet leaf, its chunkiness reminded me of a CTC grade, with its granular appearance.
To steep my tea leaves for iced tea, I used double the amount I normally would as for hot tea preparation, so 2 rounded teaspoons in my little glass teapot. I steeped for 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.
As the tea steeped to a beautiful deep amber color, a pronounced minty aroma wafted up from my teapot.
After steeping, I poured the hot tea into a Pyrex glass filled with ice cubes. The Pyrex brand of glass is a borosilicate glass (mainly silica and boron oxide), a glass resistant to thermal shock. Once the tea had cooled down, I then filled my Mermaid glass (which isn’t boro glass).
The tea tastes rich and full-bodied with an interesting, pronounced wintergreen minty note. Some of my favorite Ceylon teas have this flavor note and I find it especially refreshing in an iced tea. I imagine adding a slice of lemon or some lemon balm leaves to add a citrus note to the mint. Fabulous!
My company is shutting down for our annual vacation June 29-July 7. I’m traveling to Michigan that week to visit with my family. So, there won’t be a new Saturday Morning Tea post for 3 weeks. That said, I’ll be happy to rerun some posts the next two weeks.
Thanks so much for joining me today and I look forward to sharing another cup of tea with you in July!
“Summer afternoon-summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”