Review — Harney & Sons Decaffeinated Ceylon

Name: Decaffeinated Ceylon

Brand: Harney & Sons

Type: Black tea, decaffeinated

Form: Pyramid tea bags

Review: Decaffeinated tea is never going to be as good as its “natural” counterpart, but there are times when a decaffeinated option is necessary. While I do suggest that those who are trying to cut down on or avoid caffeine consumption consider herbal tisanes as an alternative to tea, sometimes one just craves the taste of true tea. A bit of decaf tea can also come in handy when entertaining guests. Harney & Sons Decaffeinated Ceylon is a good option for both these needs.

The tea brews up to the color of a copper penny, with a characteristically lemony-nose. The nose is slightly muted, but one can definitely tell this is Ceylon just by giving it a sniff. This is a relatively light-bodied tea, with a flavor of lemon and a hint of tobacco. It is not particularly astringent, but does have a bit of bitterness. You might want to be careful with the steep time in order to prevent the bitterness. On the other hand, the bitterness also gives it some robustness, so those who like additives in their tea don’t have to be afraid of overwhelming their cup.

The quality of Decaffeinated Ceylon is better than many decaffeinated teas that I’ve tried. It doesn’t have the “flat” quality that I associate with decaf tea, nor is it entirely one-dimensional. This is a good sipping tea that should work for casual tea drinkers as well as regular black tea drinkers who need a fix while also needing to cut back on caffeine.

Preparation Tips: This is a hardy tea, so don’t be afraid to use boiling or near-boiling water on it. Its slight bitterness allows it to stand up to milk and/or sugar, making it both a good breakfast and after-dinner tea.

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