Here we are! Another tea review of the Mlesna collection of Ceylon single origin teas. This week, we explore Mlesna Ruhunu black tea, sourced from the South-Eastern region of Sri Lanka.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog (don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list) you probably read my review of Basilur’s single origin Ruhunu black tea. If not, go check that out right now. This Mlesna offering has a lot to live up to!
Let’s dig in. This this comprehensive tea review, you’ll find out what Mlesna Ruhunu tea tastes like, how best to brew it, and where you can buy it online.
Mlesna Ruhunu Tea at a Glance
At best, this tea is basic. At worst, it’s too bitter to drink. Mlesna Ruhunu tea is nothing like the delightful Basilur Ruhunu black tea I love. It’s sad, really.
Full Review – Ruhunu Black Tea
- Type: Tagged paper filter teabags
- Tea: Single origin black tea
- Origin: Ruhunu, Sri Lanka/Ceylon
- Flavour Notes: Plain, bitter
- Aroma: Tannic, dark, malty, rich, sweet
- Milk or Lemon: Plenty of milk and sugar
- Where to Buy: Amazon
The dry aroma of the tea leaves is pretty basic, but not bad. It’s slightly dark and malty, but primarily just plain with tannin notes. It’s your typical cup of tea aroma and nothing to get excited about. Nice, but not really worth reviewing as a specialist, single origin tea.
Mlesna Ruhunu brews into a very very dark brown peat tea colour. You can’t really avoid this, as the tea infuses incredibly quickly as the water hits it.
Aroma notes swirling up from the steam are rich, malty and slightly sweet. But that doesn’t last.
When you take that first sip, it’s a plain but pleasant cup of tea… for about half a second. Then the bitterness sweeps in. It’s so intense! I won’t beat around the bush: I do not like this tea.
Only when a generous splash of milk and teaspoon of sugar are added, is it even remotely palatable.
How to Brew Single Origin Ceylon Tea
I initially used 100°c water, drawn freshly from the kettle. However, in a bid to curb the bitterness, I have started to brew this tea at around 90°c instead. Brew for 3 minutes and not a second longer. Even 3 minutes of brewing will give you a very strong cup.
Add milk (I use soy milk) and sugar or honey until you can drink it without grimacing! Also, don’t drink this tea too late at night, as the caffeine content may prevent you from falling asleep.
Why Mlesna Ruhunu Teabags?
Mlesna offer their single origin teas in loose leaf and teabag format. I’ve only had the pleasure of trying and reviewing the teabag format, but I definitely advise you to buy the loose leaf if it’s available. The quality will be far better than the finely chopped, dusty tea particles you can see in my tea photography.
Mlesna Ruhunu tea is available in loose leaf as part of a selection pack – check out my Amazon affiliate links to go straight there.
On the back of the teabag wrappers, Mlesna write:
“Ruhunu teas grow at altitudes of below 2000 feet, yielding very strong coloury teas. This strong tea is enjoyed with and without milk. Add honey or sweetening if desired.”
Not even close to accurate! Even though the tea quality isn’t great, I do like the packaging. The foil wrapping keeps the tea very fresh and the little info about the tea growing region is a nice touch, even if the tasting notes are far off base.
I can’t recommend this tea. There are far better plain black teas available and I don’t see the point in spending money on this one, unless you want to try a small amount. If that’s the case, check out the selection pack of Mlesna teas using my Amazon button below or the links above.
Several of the teas I’ve tried from Mlesna recently have been, well, disappointing. So, if I could recommend one tea that NEVER disappoints me, it has to be Teakruthi Vanilla Earl. Imagine the best loose leaf Earl Grey you’ve ever tried but with sweet notes of natural vanilla. Delicious!