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Recent Tasting Notes
This is me scrambling to get this review done before the justea crowd funder finishes! It’s finishing up today!!!! I was planning to do this earlier this week, but my computer got bricked!
I finally got most of my computer running.. though when writing this review, I realized I lost all my fonts. Sigh @ clean install reformats.
On to the tea – this tea is great! I enjoyed it much more than just the base. The bergamont got rid of some of the dryness in this tea.
Very much no frills in this blend: no blue cornflowers and lumps of orange peel – just good quality berg oil and tea.
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/kathryne-earl-grey-black-tea-justea-oolong-owl-tea-review/
btw, the colour of this tea is gorgeous!
This tea reminds me of a slightly floral molasses gingerbread, which is odd as ginger is not listed in the ingredients in the description but nevertheless this is what the brewed tea and dried leaf smells like to me.
The first flavour on my tongue reminds me of Chinese five spice powder over a slightly earthy, malty flavour with a hint of citrus. The aftertaste has warm sweet note on roof of mouth and a warm buzzing on the tongue. The tea is quite sweet with fennel like sweet notes that become most apparent after the initial sip. The base is rich and deep and malty. This is a cloves dominant chai, but the coriander, fennel and licorice notes, work well to balance it. The rose and safflower notes are present as secondary notes in the flavour after the five spice note. The safflower adds a slightly fruity freshening note and the rose adds more depth to the flavour. I’m actually surprised at how much I like this as I usually dislike cloves dominated tea, A great tea for fall and the winter holidays.
sipdown. nope nope nope nope nope nope nope. I could tell this wouldn’t be a tea for me as soon as i cut into the package. but i tried. and no. the rest is going in a box for terri. and tony. ’cause this is a tea for him….not me. but if you love earl greys…IGNORE MY REVIEW! since i suspect that many a fan of the EG would like this.
This isn’t “Chai Ho.”
This is “Chai Whoa.”
You are getting spices that you’ve never heard of before in here. In the dry leaves, where the ginger attacks your olfactories like an eager-but-inept makeout partner, the aroma is peppered with the rich layers of fennel and cinnamon. This smooths way out in the cup as the latter takes over completely: “Ginger, stop embarrassing yourself.” “Yes ma’am.”
The very first sip is a call to throw away your sugar. That cinnamon joins forces with safflower and rose petals to form a band called Natural Sweetness. Unfortunately, this means that the ginger gets left behind–maybe there wasn’t enough room in the van. You can still smell it in the aroma, but as you drink up that dusky ochre liquor… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/10/01/snooty-tea-review-justea/
With JusTea’s Earl Grey, you’re immediately pummeled with pulverizing pungency. There is nothing “just tea” about this. The bergamot is BERGAMOT but even louder, sharp as cut glass. And this is only the dry leaves! Once in the cup, the aroma tames itself marvelously and the underlying black tea comes through, all smokey gold and playing with the idea that it’s really a Keemun from China. We are reminded that no matter where tea leaves may be grown, they are still the same Camellia sinesis plant. (‘Cause we are all connected in the great Circle of Life, baby.)
The bergamot just does not let you go. Ever. It latches onto your ankle and pulls you into the amber depths of the liquor. Highly insis-tea-nt; constantly badgering you with its presence. In fact, it’s honey badgering you. Because not only does it sass, “Bergamot don’t care!” but… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/10/01/snooty-tea-review-justea/
If you’re a fan of roasty Chinese blacks, then get ready for a treat. A far cry from its florid South Asian counterparts from Ceylon and Assam, Kenyan black tea takes every deep golden note of your favorite Keemuns and Yunnans–and boom. The roll of a heated drum, as it penetrates and reverberates from sip to sole to soul. The finish is so smooth that you can’t even feel it leave your tongue.
But is this a Lion King of tea? Actually, it’s more like a Lion Queen. Lionesses are the real power within a pride, hunting and taking care of the young, while our Simbas and Mufasas… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/10/01/snooty-tea-review-justea/
I just compared this EG with one from A&D Damn Fine Tea, and Hugo. See notes here: http://steepster.com/cavocorax/posts/239066
Ok! So this was the Earl Grey I was craving this morning. :P I enjoyed my cup of Mount Grey but wanted to follow up with this just to get it right. I’m finishing up the last of my sample now (114) and it is as slightly creamy/lemon custardy as I remember. YES!
The rest is getting stuffed into a little envelope for Ozli who loves EG’s, which SHOULD go at the letter price as it’s just one flattened bag. If they say it’s too thick and charge me for a package I’ll just take it back home with me. >:|
I love this Earl Grey. It’s so sweet and citrus-y and smooth. I’m just amazed by the freshness and depth of these Justea teas. The bergamot is a tad stronger than I personally prefer but there’s a richness/creaminess to it than I am really enjoying. It’s close to lemon custard as it cools! Close.
I just said that I won’t need any more EG’s now that I have TARDIS and Mount Grey, but maybe I need to take it back. I hope Justea’s crowdfunding efforts are a success because I foresee future orders!
This tea has the type of bergamot I like in it, bright and complex, fruity citrus with notes from lemon to tangerine with spicy notes that remind me of lavender and ginger. The flavouring is bold and strong which blends well with a strong heavy bodied tea.
Using 1.5 tsp this tea brewed up to a nice red after around 3 minutes. The first flavour note was of sweet potato, followed quickly by citrus spice with lavender and light ginger notes, underlain by deep malt and cocoa. This is quite nice, bright and light tasting on top, with depth underneath and a lovely citrus spice aftertaste.
- To check out their teas go to http://www.justea.com/#!home/mainPage .
Sipdown, 144. Thanks again to JusTea for a sample of this tea. I went to make it this morning to have for breakfast and realized too late that I didn’t have any milk. As I had already brewed it, I sweetened it and had one cup sans milk to try it (pretty much same as last time) then I cooled the rest to have as a cold chai latte later today.
It’s pretty good as a cold latte, but I think I would prefer it thicker somehow. Made with sweetened condensed milk, perhaps. In any case, it’s was a nice, not-to-spicy chai to have this afternoon, and the milk smooths over any astringency from the base.
I have been waiting to try this one in part because I’m not a huge chai person, and I wanted to have it at home (as opposed to work) where I have the ability to add milk and sugar, which is how I usually drink chai if I drink it.
Working from home today, so I am hoping to get through a number of sipdowns and such. Unfortunately, I have just realized that I just used the last of milk on cereal this morning, so no milk. Ah well.
I tried it plain first, and I was pleased that it wasn’t an overly spicy or clovey chai. I mean, it is clovey, but not crazy clovey like some chais. The spice blend seems balanced. But as I have found with the other African teas, there is a bit of astringency. I put in a little sugar to smooth that out, and it seems to have worked. I think this would be a really lovely chai if brewed in a traditional chai fashion, even if it’s not a super traditional chai. I have enough of my sample to try that when I do get some milk, so perhaps this weekend.
Thanks again to JusTea for this sample, and as a reminder their crowdfunding campaign is on now at http://www.justea.com
I have had this tea twice so far, once using 1 tsp/225ml and the second time using 1.5 tsp. I enjoyed the tea both times but I think I prefer the later.
Using 1 tsp the tea liquor was a rich copper red and
smelled sweet and spicy, with hint of berries, citrus, roasted sweet potato, cinnamon, malt.
It produced a comforting rich cup with a nice body with malt, cocoa, grain ( almost barley) and a hint of potato notes at first opening up to sweeter berries with citrus fruit, and cinnamon and a hint of chocolate with a light floral notes. The aftertaste was tangy with citrus malt and chocolate cinnamon note. The tea was smooth with little to no astringency.
With 1.5 tsp of tea the liquor smelled of roasted sweet potato, malt berry, spice and a deeper cocoa note
The malt, cocoa, grain with a little sweet potato, notes opened to citrus, with at times faintly peppery berry notes, and a hint of cinnamon that had deeper cocoa notes underneath. There were tangy citrus and deep cocoa bitter notes in the aftertaste.
It re-steeps well with the tea tasting brighter and fruitier with spice elements more prominent, and a new rosemary like element coming out.
This method had a little bit more astringency than the 1 tsp method but had a much richer flavour.
Thanks once again to JusTea for this sample. Definitely one of the nicest Kenyan teas I have tried to this date. Check them out at
Ok, so i’ll be honest, i had to “review” the reviews here to compare the consensus. And i would have to agree – to enjoy the full benefits of miss Kathryne Earl Grey [ nice name, story?], she is a once bitten twice shy. Best to brew with a few than lots, as our culture demands more…Kathryne is less , as it doesn’t take much for the aromatic notes to consume your cup. once brewed yes you can smell the bergamot, but also the rich earth of africa…so perhaps this tea would best to experiment with different milk bases for a distinct taste, otherwise you may think you just drank coffee….which, this is not. Kathryne is a proper Earl Grey and as much be treated delicately. you must gently woo this tea to a proper blend…if you desire to court again in your cup!
Awwwwwhhhh, good ol Kenya Farmers! This tea is as fresh from the ground as IT GETS! believe me you will know by opening their very fashionable tea sachets – you can smell the rich earth of africa it was sown in …but don’t let it fool you…once brewed, it makes a mean cuppa! i had sugar and milk on the side ready, because it’s a strong brew! but for those who work endlessly to satisfy a 5 min experience in a cup deserves more than pennies, they deserve a well lived life. Kudos, JUSTea…keep it brewing and bless Kenya Alive!
I’ve been meaning to do reviews of these for a while, but somewhere between school, work, and getting sick, life beat me down hard this last week or so.
Received this, with many thanks, from the folks of JusTea in conjection with their campaign going on (which you can find at at http://www.justea.com/)
This is a very bright/fresh flavored black tea. It’s like a wake up party in my mouth! It’s also quite robust, with some wondeful balance between stone-fruit sweetness, malt and and fresh woodsy flavors. There’s a slight bit of astringency, but nothing I would call distracting or even unexpected.
The second steep (5 minutes) is similar to the first, though slightly sweeter and perhaps a little softer around the edges.
This is a really solid morning tea, or something to just kick back into and recooperate with later in the day.
This is my last sample for justea. I’m really thanking them for letting try these great Kenyan tea’s. This time around we are tasting the Earl Grey version of the Kenyan Black tea.
The dry leaf got a light bergamot scent to it. Not strong but just noticeable. So thats already a good sign for things to come, because i really don’t like overly strong flavored tea’s.
I brewed this earl grey for 3min and the color of the infusion is almost the same then the black tea base alone. For more info about the tea base check my Kenyan Black tasting note.
The robustness of the Kenyan tea is still in front when drinking this cup of tea. But u can clearly taste the fresh bergamot oil that is used to give this its classic earl grey taste. Its refreshing and its a very good thing the bergamot isn’t taking over the tea.
I’m liking this just like the african chai and the Kenyan black (thats the base for all there tea’s)! Justea u got really amazing tea’s out there, these 3 samples where by far the best samples i had i a long time.
After being in India for 2 month I have to say that this chai tastes nothing like Indian chais. But it’s not supposed to, since it’s an African chai. So it has a bit of a different feel to it than the usual Indian chais I drink, which makes it a nice alternative.
The base of this tea is the Kenyan Black from Justea. See my review there for details of the base tea. I’ll focus more on the spices here.
First of all the spices are very balanced, nothing really sticks out (which I like a lot). Maybe the fennel seeds and the licorice. But all the spices blend in very well with the base tea. This gives a nice complex taste.
The mix of spices and the sweetness of the tea is fantastic. There although the taste is more in direction of fennel and licorice, there is also pepper and cloves, mixed with the maltiness of the base tea.
I tasted the tea just as is with a bit sugar and its good. However, I think the full potential comes out when drinking it with milk. I haven’t tested it simmered in milk, which would probably THE thing to do and its the way that it’s done in Kenya (and India).
The steeping time is a bit longer for me, since some of the spices need a bit of time to develop their full potential. But maybe that’s just my personal taste, I tend to like longer steeping times.
The overall rating of this chai is pretty high, it beat’s most of the chais I have tasted so far. However, I do like the Masala Chai from the tea guy (who also created this chai) a touch better. Therefore not the full 100 points.
If you like your blacks dark, this is probably something for you. The tannins are light, the flavour smooth, yet it still manages to pack to pack a rich dark malty punch.
This is on my permanent collection on teas to keep in the cupboard.
I normally don’t take milk in my tea, other than chai, but I just find it works beautifully with this tea.
It can be brewed darker or lighter, steeped longer or shorter, just depends what you are after. I also will do a re-steep, go for about twice as long as the original steep time.