The beauty of single origin teas is that they really allow the character of the region to shine through! It turns out, the Uva region has a fantastic character, as I found out in my Mlesna Uva tea review.
It might not have the highest score on my tea review blog, but it’s certainly one of the most memorable teas I’ve tried. If you’re looking to explore the interesting teas that come from Sri Lanka (also known as Ceylon) then this is a brilliant place to start.
Read my full review of this Mlesna black tea from the Uva region below.
Mlesna Uva Black Tea at a Glance
Full Review – Mlesna Uva Tea from Ceylon
- Type: Tagged paper filter teabag
- Tea: Black tea
- Origin: Uva, Sri Lanka
- Flavour Notes: Smooth, floral bergamot, bitter, warming
- Aroma: Crisp, brisk, slightly malty
- Milk or Lemon: Generous splash of milk
- Where to Buy: TK Maxx, Amazon (mini taster set)
Tea from the Uva region of Sri Lanka is described as boldly unique with an interesting character, floral notes and brightness. This tea certainly lives up to that!
The dry aroma of the tea bag is very brisk and crisp, like the tea was freshly plucked yesterday. But it’s not a delicate aroma – it’s bold and in-your-face.
It brews into a dark brown tea colour with a hint of green. Despite being in tea bag format, which is notorious for leaving dust at the bottom of your cup, this tea was surprisingly clear. It fits the brisk and bright aroma well.
As for the flavour. Wow. My tastebuds took a little while to recover after that first sip! It’s smooth initially with nice, warming and recognisable black tea notes. But a few seconds later the astringency starts to build to extreme levels. It’s drying and long-lasting to the point that it’s off-putting.
I will never drink this tea without milk again.
How to Brew Single Origin Ceylon Tea Bags
As this is a black tea, use 100°C water when you brew it. Mlesna recommend a 3 to 5 minute brew time which is spot-on. I brewed for 3 minutes and it was just light enough to attempt drinking black. Brew for the full 5 minutes when you plan to add milk.
And you really should add milk.
While the bitterness is overpowering when you drink this tea alone, I think it could actually be really refreshing if you drink this tea with food! It would wash down rich chocolate cake and very creamy, sweet foods nicely. Just don’t pair it with anything too strong, sour or bitter, or this will nuke your tastebuds combined with the natural astringency of the tea.
Why Mlesna Sri Lankan Tea?
I found a selection box of single origin teas from Ceylon in TK Maxx when I was shopping there (before UK lockdown 2.0) for Christmas gifts. The Mlesna brand rang a vague bell in the back of my mind, so this brand isn’t completely unknown although they’re not exactly a popular brand in the UK.
Uva is a landlocked region of Sri Lanka with good elevation. I only researched this tea after drinking it, so it’s good to know that my tastebuds are on the right track – according to the Sri Lanka Tea Board, Uva tea is typically “exotically aromatic” and various tea brands with tea sourced from this area describe it as floral, fine-flavoured and highly aromatic.
I don’t recommend this tea if you like to drink your tea black. Usually I like to drink my single origin teas without milk to get a sense of the natural character of the tea… but that doesn’t work with Mlesna Uva tea. If you’re fond of a nice brisk cuppa with a splash of milk, however, then it will be worth tracking this tea down.
I’ve been unable to find this tea available to buy separately, so a good place to start looking is with the collection boxes of Mlesna tea on Amazon.
If you like your black tea with an extra flavour kick, a masala chai is a great choice! One spiced tea that I reviewed lately is the Fosters Spiced Festive Tea. Take a look at my full review to find out more or use my Tea Review Index (in the menu) to discover a whole range of new teas.