Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Twinings' Ceylon Tea

Twinings - Origins Line "Ceylon Tea"
Twinings "Ceylon Tea," part of their Origins series, is characterized as "A bright, amber, refreshing black tea with a distinctive subtle flavor." It lies at "medium" in their flavor strength range. And in accordance with the name, its origin is purely Sri Lankan (interesting side note: Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon until it changed its name in 1972).

For a bagged morning cuppa, I brewed this tea in boiling hot water for 4 minutes (right in the middle of their 3-5 minute prescribed brew time). I tasted this tea both plain and with a bit of milk and honey. I found the flavor to be comparable to their most popular English Breakfast tea, but inferior in several ways:

  • The tea lacks body and strength. The flavor of the teaspoon of milk I added gave more flavor than the tea itself.
  • It lacks astringency, which I expected since the word "bright" was the first adjective on the box.
  • Although each tea bag is individually sealed, it does not have the freshness characteristic of Twinings' English Breakfast.
  • To top it all off, there is an obvious dusty taste literally reminiscent of household dust. I think this is the secret behind their "distinctive subtle flavor."
Upon inspection of the fannings inside the bag, the bits of leaves are the smallest I have ever encountered. After brewing, the inside of the bag contained a pulpy mass.

I suspect that Twinings uses tea from these Ceylon farms to blend some of their more popular teas. When they had nothing to do with the dirty fannings at the bottom of their barrels, they decided to create a new product line and call it "Origins" as if it were more pure. This tea, my friends, is the result.

Overall Verdict: BLECH!

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