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A Trip Around Sri Lanka With Teakruthi

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Hello Tea Friends!

Coupon code – use code ‘FRIENDS-OF-KITTY’ to get 15% off your Teakruthi order. Valid until March 15th.

Last week Teakruthi contacted me via Twitter asking if I would like to do a review for them. Unlike most other companies they worked things out differently, and I was given $35 to spend on samples that I wanted to try. It was too good an opportunity to pass up, so after a good browse on the site of so many good looking teas I chose four. Blissful Harmony, Ceylon Ooolong, Ceylon Ivory and Island Heritage.

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They came by DHL which was a very speedy delivery of only a few days considering the distance it had to cover. I also liked that it was safely packed into a box with the Teakruthi logo on.

Here is some information on Teakruthi:

Originating from Ceylon, home to the world’s finest tea, we are teakruthi and hope to inspire a healthier lifestyle through the perfect ‘cup-a-tea’. Tea is in our culture and we know that perfection begins at the source. Our teas are thus hand plucked and ethically sourced from the world’s finest plantations in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), arriving at your doorstep garden fresh. Our teas have no artificial or GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms).

Like most natural products, tea tastes best when fresh. However most teas on the market are far from it, taking nearly a year to reach your cup as they pass through a supply-chain of multiple middlemen and storage houses. As your tea makes this long journey from the plantation to your home, it gradually goes flat losing its natural flavor and aroma. As such some common tea brands chemically enhance their teas with natural and artificial flavoring or GMO’s.

teakruthi delivers teas direct from the Plantation to your doorstep within three months. Due to the short lead-time and direct sourcing model our teas taste delicious with no artificial additives. How do we do this?

  1. We eliminate the middlemen and source directly from some of Sri Lanka’s finest estate factories
  2. Our just-in-time demand algorithms allow us to order tea supply only as needed, reducing storage stock and wastage
  3. Sri Lanka is the only source market that grows tea all year around, eliminating the need for us to stock supply to service off-season orders

That opening statement sounds perfect to me. Ethically sourced and straight from the tea plantations. My interest is certainly piqued.

Another thing I find interesting is that the teas come with a description card each to give you a little information on them, such as aroma, liquor and taste. On the front of the packet itself are the steeping instructions and serving suggestions (milk, honey etc). A nice all around job in helping people know what they are drinking and how to prepare it, useful for old and new tea drinkers alike.

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Lets jump into the reviews.

Blissful Harmony 

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Pure Ceylon black and white ‘silver tips’ tea.

We picked this low grown from a region between sea level and 600m. This tea is flowery and light, and dark copper in color. Black and white teas are combined in this blend for unique, contrasting flavors that cannot help but harmonize together. Much care has gone into this blend: the black leaves are delicate and wiry and produce a refined taste, while the white tea leaves were naturally withered and gently hand-rolled before firing. Our Blissful Harmony blend has a smooth, malty taste, and is perfect for any time of day — morning or night.

I don’t think I’ve had an unflavoured blend of black and white teas before, this will be a first for me.

The bags are a big size to allocate for the leaves but I can’t reach my hand in as it’s just too big so I’m resorting to sprinkling them out on the side to view.

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Wow, these leaves are amazing! Look at that combination of full leaf, silver tip and black curls. Now I see why the bags were so big! The white leaves look preserved, such full leaves and with plenty of downy hairs.

It bares a sweet yet grassy scent with a hint of toasted flowers.

Brewing Instructions & Condiments
  • Serving Size1 tsp (2.3g) per 1 cup (6 oz, 180 ml)
  • BrewingBest served hot
    85-90 C (185-195 F)
  • Steeping Time4 to 5 minutes
  • Number of SteepsUp to 3 Steepings

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Using: 2.5g of leaf in a 200ml glass gongfu teapot.

Once steeped the resulting tea is amber in colour and bares a sweet, malt scent.

First Steep – 4 minutes

Flavour is rich with malt and dry wood tones and a sweet finish. Further sips bring through dark fruit (prune) notes with minimal dryness.

Second Steep – 4 minutes 30 seconds

Lighter and sweeter than the previous steep. Still retains malt tones well.

Third Steep – 5 minutes

I was sceptical of a third steep but did one anyway. It remained consistent in steeping colour and was pleasantly surprising. Some richness remains with sweet malt tones, still smooth.

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Conclusion: Frankly this tea was delicious. Three steeps with such little leaf gave such a positive outcome. The leaves unfurled to show their true form which you can see was very full leaf from the after steep picture.

It was clean tasting and easy to drink, would make a great afternoon brew. Something you could relax with and take your time unfurling. Steeping times were good as well so decent advice upon practice.

I loved it, such good quality and very tasty. My sort of tea, though it’s easy to forget it’s a white and black leaf combo when you’re drinking it.

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Ceylon Ivory 

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Pure Ceylon white tea.

Ceylon Ivory is Pure Ceylon White Tea and is produced with care: it is hand-plucked, naturally withered and gently hand-rolled before firing. Made from the first leaf of a pea shoot from the clone, our white tea is fresh, light, mild, and nutty in flavor, and appears pale yellow in cloud. Our white tea offers a pure drinking experience that is delicate in both flavor and aroma.

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I don’t often have pure white teas but this one looks interesting. The leaves are a gorgeous meld of green, silver and brown with plenty of downy hairs and super size leaves. Just look at them!

They have a toasted scent of flowers and dry grass.

Brewing Instructions & Condiments
  • Serving Size1 tsp (2.1g) per 1 cup (6 oz, 180 ml)
  • BrewingBest served hot
    85-90 C (185-195 F)
  • Steeping Time4 to 5 minutes
  • Number of SteepsUp to 3 Steepings

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Using: 2.5g of leaf in a 200ml glass gongfu teapot.

Once steeped the resulting tea is light yellow in colour and bares a sweet, floral scent

First Steep – 4 minutes

Flavour is sweet, subtle and floral with hints of toasted nuts. Smooth and buttery in the after taste.

Second Steep – 4 minutes 30 seconds

Floral and still sweet and mild. Increased dryness in this steep though minimal.

Third Steep – 5 minutes

Light floral hints continue with a dry, nutty finish.

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Conclusion: Clean tasting and floral though very light, as expected. The sweetness lingered nicely to give an overall fresh after taste. Pleasant all around.

My confession is that it’s still not for me, white tea rarely is. Though this is down to personal preference you understand. The quality in this is wonderful and it was still pleasing, but I think I prefer the idea of blending it with black tea like Blissful Harmony.

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Ceylon Oolong 

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Pure Ceylon Oolong Tea.

This low grown blend offers a fragrant, gentle experience. Harvested from a single estate in the Galle District in Sri Lanka, our green Oolong tea is certified ‘ozone-friendly’. Like all of our favorite teas, our Ceylon Oolong blend is packed with antioxidants, making it good for both the environment and you. The manufacturing process of this tea demands precision and care in every step, as it is semi-fermented. It is fresh and mild in flavor, and orange in appearance. It is distinctive for its aroma, leaf, and liquor.

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There are some sticks/stems in this which was the first thing I noticed but frankly there is always some with Oolong. At least I find that to be so. Balls are a nice medium size and are an array of earthy brown tones.

They have a subtle toasty grass and wood scent with a dry finish.

Brewing Instructions & Condiments
  • Serving Size1 tsp (3.5g) per 1 cup (6 oz, 180 ml)
  • BrewingBest served hot
    85-90 C (185-195 F)
  • Steeping Time3 to 4 minutes
  • Number of SteepsUp to 3 Steepings

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Using: 3.7g of leaf in a 200ml glass gongfu teapot.

Once steeped the resulting tea liquid is burnt orange in colour and bares a toasted, floral scent.

First Steep – 3 minutes

Flavour is toasted yet sweet with wood and floral notes. Slight astringency in the somewhat dry after taste. It’s rich but not too much, almost malt like.

Second Steep – 3 minutes 30 seconds

The leaves are more unfurled at this point.

Darker and more toasty. The dry wood flavour lingers in the after taste. Also has a vegetal underlay like fresh, mild spinach.

Third Steep – 4 minutes

Soft and sweet with a creamy finish. Lightly floral.

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Conclusion: A nice toasty Oolong that remained light throughout. Perhaps a touch softer than I was expecting. A pleasant tea though, I imagine it would be great on a summers day.

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Island Heritage 

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Pure Ceylon Black Tea.

Grown in the hub of the largest Dimbulla tea-growing area in Sri Lanka, our Island Heritage blend offers a flowery, mild taste and boasts an orange appearance. This tea was plucked from tea bushes that were planted during the coffee era, around 1884-1885, so you can taste true Dimbulla tea-growing history in your cup. The blend features two distinctive leaves and a bud subjected to natural withering and then gently rolled in a well-type miniature roller. Afterwards, the tea is sun dried and passed through a conventional dryer to eliminate moisture. The last step, of course, is finding its way to your cup.

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The leaves are brown, long and thinly rolled. Very earthy and wooden looking. It bares a dry and wooden scent with a touch of smoke.

Brewing Instructions & Condiments
  • Serving Size1 tsp (1.5g) per 1 cup (6 oz, 180 ml)
  • BrewingBest served hot
    85-90 C (185-195 F)
  • Steeping Time3 to 5 minutes
  • Number of Steeps

    Up to 3 Steepings

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Using: 1.7g of leaf in a 200ml glass gongfu teapot.

Once steeped the tea liquid is copper in colour and bares a rich, malt scent.

First Steep – 3 minutes

Flavour is malt with a sweet, brown sugar after taste. Rich though smooth and minimal dryness. Slight woodiness coming through in the after taste.

Second Steep – 4 minutes

Consistent to the first steep except an increase of dryness.

Third Steep – 5 minutes

Some astringency in this steep and the malt is somewhat leathery, though mild.

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Conclusion: A medium strength black tea with malt lows and sugar highs. Perhaps next time I would increase the leaf used slightly.

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What a great introduction to Teakruthi and proof that Sri Lanka produces some mighty fine tea. Thank you for the chance to try your teas.

Happy Steeping!

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