Twining's Ceylon Orange Pekoe

Originally posted Novemeber 1, 2006 to "Dickens of a Blog". Slightly altered for here, but the review references time and tastes still to that time.


From product website: "Ceylon Tea comes from the country that today is known as Sri Lanka. Twinings Ceylon tea is made using the finest quality high grown teas from the Dimbula region in western Sri Lanka. In the 1870's, Ceylon became a major tea producing area after the coffee crop failed. Its tea is still referred to as "Ceylon" despite the country changing its name to Sri Lanka in 1972 following independence. Ceylon is ideal to drink at any time of day and is great for ice tea too. Drink black, with a little milk and sweeten to taste."

Twining's Ceylong 100g Tin

I normally am willing to heap praise upon Twinings. I adore their Earl Grey, enjoy their Gunpowder Green, and gladly partake of their breakfast teas both Irish and English. Even in cases where they fail to "quite get it right", like their Darjeeling, I am not against suggesting you give it a try because the flavor may be more appealing to you than it is to me.

In the case of their Ceylon (i.e. Sri Lanka) Orange Pekoe, save yourself some money and do not buy it. I have heard it said in different ways, and it is worth repeating here: COP is only good for turning your water a murky brown.

The taste is both weak and slightly bitter. If you were to add "a little milk and sweeten to taste", you would get something pretty much unrecognizable as tea. This morning I even made a sligthly stronger pot so I could better bring out the flavor. At 1.25 normal strength, I can still barely taste the tea. This is the second batch (read, second container, not second pot) and I am just throwing this one away. I am all for giving things a chance, but there is not much to repsect here.

Flavor is similar to Lipton "Iced Tea" (whatever the label they are assigning to their "made to be iced" variety), except, and this pains me to say, it is less pleasant. At least in Lipton's case, the flavor as a little afterbite to it, sort of like gas station coffee, and that helps to perk it up. In this case, it is almost completely forgettable.

As I see it, there are two main purposes for this tea (outside of making water a murky brown or possibly justifying a honey and milk habit): 1) use it to cut a stronger tea (like Lapsang Souchong) to make it a little weaker or 2) to act as a transition tea between Lipton or Tetley style bagged tea and loose tea preparation. I am dumping the rest of the pot, and then I am going to get the taste out of my mouth with some heavy Irish Breakfast.

My review, as a standalone blend, is Blech.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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