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!