Have gone back and ordered some of the black teas I was drinking when I began this blog early last year. They arrived last week, and I've been pondering how to reintroduce them. I drank a lot of Ceylon early on, and it seems fitting to spend a bit of time talking about it since the Cricket World Cup Final between Sri Lanka and India is in full swing, as it were.
Just to be very clear up front: I don't know anything about Cricket. That isn't an invitation to try and explain it to me. Many an afternoons sitting in the pub have been wasted by people trying to explain Cricket to me. It's no use. But I can certainly take advantage of the occasion to rattle on about the tea grown in Sri Lanka.
Here's how I talked about Ceylon Bop Uva way back then: BOP Uva, what a name, eh?.
So my question is what do I think of this tea now? Has my opinion changed?
When I talk about green or Oolong tea, I make photos of the beautiful leaves. I took a few photos of this BOP Uva, but it's really nondescript looking black tea. I've spent quite a bit of the afternoon reading about tea growing regions of Sri Lanka, and the most definitive thing I can say about this tea that's labeled BOP Uva, could come from any of a huge number of estates. It's not a small region at all.
What's the BOP part all about? Simply stated, BOP stands for broken orange pekoe. It's described rather well at Wikipedia, but it means that this is medium grade black tea. Rather than full leaves, they're broken into much smaller pieces. It actually looks a bit like very course ground coffee.
The leaves have a very light floral taste, and the tea itself is mildly spicy. Many sources recommend that tea from this region is good with milk. I tried it first without and then added just a bit. It was tasty either way, but the thing that made the tea interesting without milk was completely masked once milk was added.
As the day progressed, the Indians prevailed in the Cricket. When I imagine the fields of tea plants that I see in photos of Sri Lanka, I wonder if the people picking the tea even got a chance to watch the Cricket, or if they'd even want to.