Ceylon Blackwood Orange Pekoe is a classic black tea that comes from the Blackwood Tea Estate located next to Idalgashinna of Uva Province, Sri Lanka. It is a high-grown Sri Lankan OP (Orange Pekoe) grade organic Ceylon black tea. You can find out what Orange Pekoe is in our article here. Higher altitude teas are highly prized in Sri Lanka, producing more elegant versions compared to their low-grown varieties. This tea is produced to EU organic standards. The current batch is from the spring 2022 harvest.
Blackwood Tea Estate is located at an altitude of between 1,000 and 1,300 metres next to the famous Idalgashinna tea area of Uva Province. The estate is purportedly one of the first organic tea plantations in the country. At the same time the estate has an extensive social support programme for their tea pickers and their extended families.
The tea farmers in Sri Lanka have had a difficult recent past, with the government encouraging more farmers to switch to CTC (crush, tear, curl) methods of tea production in the 1990’s, trying to capture the huge CTC market. CTC tea is normally used to fill tea bags, so the move was away from quality and onto quantity. This switch from orthodox methods was a big failure as Sri Lankan teas could not compete with cheaper CTC teas from other large and the then up-and-coming CTC tea growing countries, such as India, Kenya and Malawi. This move also damaged the reputation and quality of Sri Lankan tea, resulting in many farmers choosing to eventually abandon CTC production in favour of orthodox methods of tea production. Now Sri Lanka is rightly regaining its status as a major exporter of high quality orthodox teas and there are more and more interesting and exciting producers of these Ceylon teas, such as this Ceylon Orange Pekoe from Blackwood tea estate.
This Orange Pekoe black tea from Blackwood Tea Estate has a mixed sized wiry leaf. There is a lovely malty aroma from the wet leaves. The liquor produced has a dark ruby colour with a light mineral and malty aroma. The overall taste of this tea is soft and balanced, attributable to the high-grown nature of it. The fruity profile has woody and sweet malty notes that progress to a mouthwatering aftertaste that features just a touch of tannins. There is a general citrus note present that becomes more prominent as the tea cools, akin in flavour to the classic combination of black tea with lemon. This tea is quite sweet for a Ceylon black tea, meaning it is perfect for enjoying without adding anything extra to it.
It is best brewed with water at 90°C for 3-4 minutes and the leaves can be brewed around 2 times.