Kaffeeklatsch's Ceylon Silvertip Yalta

Originally posted Novemeber 11, 2006 to "Dickens of a Blog". Slightly altered for here.


Of all the standard blacks, Ceylon is my least favorite. Yes, even under Lapsang Souchong. I use it almost exclusively as a blender, and generally at about half the quantity that standard blends use for it (for instance, my Irish Breakfast is 2 parts Assam to 1 part Ceylon). While I drink them, it is mostly as a single cup at a time, the flavor is just a little too empty for me. I even threw away my Twining's loose Ceylon, something that I rarely do to any bulk tea, before I reaized how useful it would have been for mixing.

I picked up a quarter pound of Ceylon Silvertip Yalta (CSY) from Kaffeeklatsch, and figured I would give it a whirl. If nothing else, I can use it in mixes. But, if I like it, then the region's blends have somewhat been redeemed.

4 spoonfuls in a 4 cup pot. Water right under boil. 6-7 minute steep time. No honey.

The aroma is the first thing I notice. It reminds me of boiled peanuts, a light legume flavor with a tad of roast. The color is less dark than some of its cousins (say the Twinings blend) but the aroma is stronger. Mixed signals already.

The first sip highlights a flavor to be expected from the aroma. Definitely a little bit more of a "roast nut" than other Ceylons. Mild mid-tongue bitterness, nothing not tolerable. Flavor fades fast, leaving only the bitterness behind.

The follow-up cups are similar. Maybe a slightly deeper flavor, but nothing too much. The bitterness is easy to overlook.

The end result? Still a tea a little too shallow and plain for my tastes. Likely would be great mixed with some Keemum I have, or maybe with a little Assam. Or both, with a little Lapsang Souchong. Use the plain flavor to cut the deep flavors a little, and work on a more mid-taste tea.

This is the best Ceylon I have ever had, and is drinkable (probably better with honey) but the region has yet to make a tea that I consider one of my favorites. My ranking is a Meh as a straight tea, with Eh as a mixer.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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