Nuwara Eliya OPA Pure Ceylon Black Tea from The Tea and Herb Co. Ltd.

On August 29th of 2013, I tasted a sample of Nuwara Eliya OPA Pure Ceylon Black Tea. This sample was provided by The Tea and Herb Company Limited, located in North Mulleriyawa, Sri Lanka.

According to documentation provided by my contact at The Tea and Herb Company Limited, the Nuwara Eliya growing region of Sri Lanka is located in the center of the hilly countryside, where the elevation is high. At this altitude, the temperatures are lower, causing the tea bushes to grow slowly and produce unusually small leaves. The geography of this growing region can cause the weather to be dramatically different from estate to estate, as the two different climatic systems of the east and west balance one another. 

This particular sample of Nuwara Eliya OPA was produced from tea leaves out of two estates: the famous Lover’s Leap and Mahagastotte (Pedro Estate), and the Court Lodge Estate. Just opening the bag has me excited to brew this tea up and dive in.

Let the journey begin…


Tea Analysis and Review Form

Date: 08/29/2013

Product Name: Nuwara Eliya OPA Pure Ceylon Black Tea

Purchased From: The Tea and Herb Company Limited

Origin: Nuwara Eliya region of Sri Lanka

Type of Tea: Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Black


Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

Nuwara Eliya OPA Dry leaves

Aroma: Fruity (ripe fruit), Floral, rich, room-filling. This tea has an exceptional aroma. Unbelievable. 

Dryness: Very dry. Leaves crack in to fine crumbles.

Color: Black, brown, some reddish tips, even a little green and purplish. Eye catching and beautiful.

Texture: Smooth twisted leaves.

Size, Shape, Length: Fairly uniform length average 3/4 inch (19 mm). Leaves are mostly twisted and curled. 

Unique Characteristics: The aroma is exquisite, and the leaves are very colorful and eye catching. I cannot wait to brew this tea.


Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water: 24 oz (700 ml)

Amount of Tea: 10 grams


Tea Liquor Evaluation

First Infusion:

Nuwara Eliya OPA 1st Infusion

Water Temperature: 200°F (93°C)

Steep Time: 2 Minutes and 0 seconds.

Aroma: Flowery (Dandelion), fruity, very aromatic.

Color: Lively golden-yellow. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Flowery (dandelion) is the most noticeable taste. There is certainly a fruity taste, which seemed like a combination of plum and grapefruit (a strange combination – I know). Very smooth with a pleasant aftertaste of light bitterness and dandelion.

Comments: Of the three samples from The Tea and Herb Company that I have tried thus far, I have been a huge fan of two of them, and an average fan of one. This is definitely one of the samples that I am a huge fan of. Very flowery and fruity, while still maintaining enough of a black tea taste. Great body and aftertaste.


Second Infusion:

Nuwara Eliya OPA 2nd Infusion

Water Temperature: 200°F (93°C)

Steep Time: 2 Minutes and 0 seconds.

Aroma: Flowery (dandelion), fruity. Slightly lighter than 1st infusion.

Color: Remains a lively golden-yellow, slightly lighter than the 1st infusion.

Taste: The taste of dandelion flowers is still most apparent, with the fruity taste leaning more toward grapefruit than plum. Lighter overall taste and body, but still very tasteful and pleasant.

Comments: This is a very good 2nd infusion. Despite the lighter body, enough taste remains to make this a highly enjoyable cup. I am confident that a third infusion will still be worthy of brewing and consuming.


Third Infusion:

Nuwara Eliya OPA 3rd Infusion

Water Temperature: 200°F (93°C)

Steep Time: 2 Minutes and 15 seconds.

Aroma: Flowery (dandelion), fruity. Smells sweeter than the 2nd infusion.

Color: Lighter but lively golden-yellow. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Lighter overall than the 2nd infusion, but retains a flowery dandelion and light fruity grapefruit taste. Body is lighter, not much aftertaste.

Comments: Definitely an infusion worthy of consuming. Much lighter, but still acceptably tasteful. I would not attempt a fourth infusion, however.


Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

Nuwara Eliya OPA Infused Leaves

Color: Some fresh leaf green, but mostly lighter brown to brown leaves. Brown stems.

Aroma: Still flowery and lightly fruity.

Size, Shape: All fragments. Some larger fragments of about 1 inch (25.4 mm). Leaves have some durability, but not enough to suggest that a fourth infusion would be worthwhile.

Unique Characteristics: Some leaves look very fresh. The aroma is still pleasantly fragrant.


Final Comments: This is one journey that I plan on taking many times over. The aroma of the dry leaves, liquor, and wet leaves were all very attractive. The dry leaves were eye catching and colorful, yet obviously a black tea. The taste was a nice combination of flowery and fruity, with a touch of bitter at the end. This tea would make a great blending base for a high quality blend. However, I am perfectly content drinking this tea all by itself. This is a great Ceylon black tea. I am very happy to have had an opportunity to try. Thanks again, Tea and Herb Company. This tea is highly recommended.