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Recent Tasting Notes
Felt like this again. First cup was rushed. Tasted great though, but I had to drink it quickly because a sip in, I got a note asking for help to drive a local friend to the ER. So I gulped the rest down while waiting for her address instructions. My Breville used the keep-warm function so the second cup was still acceptably warm but I fear that I’m going to have to reheat my 3rd cup. Ah well, it was for a good cause.
And it looks like I’m going to be up very late drinking tea because I’m waiting for a phone call to bring her back to her house and who knows how long that will take. Depending, I might just stay up all night, though that will make my therapy appointment tomorrow interesting.
After receiving this in the mail from the crowd funding campaign (I don’t remember which one, kickstarter? indiegogo?), I finally opened this and made myself a cup (at…2am, yay!).
Added milk and sugar as is my wont with black tea. A bit more of each because I’ve heard that good Kenyan tea can be a bit strong on the astringency and needs a bit extra and I’m glad that I did because this is simply a very very good cup of tea. Probably not the best it could be because I reheated it in the microwave once because I forgot I was drinking tea but otherwise it’s very very malty and a bit chocolatey and it tastes a bit fruity to me too, though I couldn’t tell you which fruit, other than not the more acidic citrus fruits. Very subtle to me though. The malt flavour comes through the most. I have another cup of this to go tonight and probably resteep the leaves tomorrow. I’ll add anything if something is different between now and then.
ETA: And apparently this is tasting note #400. Woo!
Additional notes: I needed some Earl on this dreary day, so why not go for the best stuff? Burst of bergamot aftertaste right here. I’m not noticing the tomato soup flavor that I did last time, though that was from MissB’s sample and not this sample. Maybe a different harvest? This is the loveliest of Earls. I’d love to buy some of JusTea’s teas but the shipping is a little rough. I’m envisioning a massive Steepsterer combined order for the Christmas sale….
Additional notes: I’m sipping another cup, this time from MissB! thank you so much! I still have little from my sample from JusTea. I’m not sure if it’s because this is a different batch or I oversteeped, but this cup tastes like tomato soup! Not really any bergamot. Sad because this is one of my favorite EGs. I think I oversteeped. I really needed my bergamot today… so sick of winter! It’s supposed to be really cold for another week. :/ sigh.
Oh WOW. I don’t know if it’s because it is winter with the lack of sunshine or because I haven’t had an Earl in a while but WOW. This stuff is amazingly delicious. Upon opening my sample, the bergamot fragrance is divine! Bright, fresh, lemony… almost like there is some lemon myrtle here. There is some yellow powder, but I think that’s just the tea itself. I definitely thought “sunshine”. I brewed a heaping teaspoon for exactly three minutes after waiting for the water to cool for about ten minutes. I don’t think it could get more perfect than this. I’m not sure if JustTea uses the Kenyan black base for this one, since I didn’t seem to find any of the notes there that I did here. This one doesn’t seem malty, chocolate or Yunnan. Maybe the bergamot is so strong it is overpowering those flavors but if I’m drinking Earl Grey, I want my bergamot to be tough stuff. Maybe I was just wishing for the last cup to taste that way. But this is amazing. This would be in strong competition with Teajo’s Earl Grey in the Battle of the Earl Greys. (I don’t recall if it was in the Battle, but if not, I demand a rematch! :D) I really hope JusTea will create more blends because the three they have are EXCELLENT. I’m very tempted to buy these for their Christmas sale!!
Love it! A really good bergamot flavor here. It starts out bitter and then evens out and becomes tangy with hints of sweet.
The black tea is smooth and well-rounded. This is one of the nicest Earl Grey varieties that I’ve tried. If you love Earl Grey, you’ve gotta try this one!
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/09/23/kathryne-kenyan-earl-grey-black-tea-justea/
Really, really good. The more I try Kenyan teas, the more I like them, and this one from Justea is very robust … a solid black tea. Full-flavored and rich.
It has a distinct ‘bake-y’ sort of note to it that is sweet, chewy and caramel-y, but I like that it’s sweet but not overly so. A really enjoyable cup of tea.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/09/17/kenyan-black-tea-justea/
Another great surprise pick from Dexter3657! Thank you.
Man, this is why swapping is the best. I didn’t know anything about this tea or the company so this was quite a sit-up-and-take-notice surprise in every sense. It doesn’t taste like any other tea I’ve had. It has a smell sort of similar to Grandpa’s Anytime Tea, vaguely like Grape Nuts (that might sound weird but in the morning it’s good!), and then the taste is eyes-wide-open refreshing. There’s a malty smell, and a texture and lightnesss similar to darjeeling, brisk and astringent but so floaty it’s not overpowering, plus a fruitiness. Then there’s this…brightness, that refreshing quality I’m having a hard time mapping because I haven’t experienced it with the other qualities of a black tea before. I really like this, and it’s unlike anything I’ve had before! A solid hit. Thanks so much Dexter3657!
Tea #1 From “Another Traveling Tea Box”
This tea smells sweet like honey, but it doesn’t taste like it. There is something almost smoky at the top of the sip that disappears before I can really identify it. Over all, it’s a good cup of black tea, but not my favorite.
Sipdown! since this is not the tea for me. While i do like the chai taste of this one, i can’t get past the floral notes that ruin the good thing i have going on with the spices. That being said, i would recommend this as an enjoyable chai for anyone who isn’t quite as florally sensitive as i am haha. It’s not overpowering at all, it’s just that for me, the subtle floral notes in the bottom just dont work for me :) still though, a lovely tea to try!
Thanks again, Nicole_Martin!
This is my kind of chai! It has a golden-tasting, malty base and balance of both light and dark spices. How can I turn down cloves or liquorice root, right? And rose leaves in a chai? I was suprised at how much I could actually makes them out. I though at first they would be drowned out by the spices, but it really works well here. Yum!
I need to drink this more often because:
A> I have a lot of it.
B> I really like it.
C> It’s a good cause and I would like to support them by buying more.
A little brisk, but tons of depth. Bold enough to be a breakfast tea, but not offensively bitter or strong. It’s a little finicky, best if not over leafed or over steeped. I found today I liked it at about 1 TBSP/ 10oz mug for about 2 minutes (HOT water at work – maybe 90C ish). Different than the Chinese blacks that I’m used to, but a really nice change.
If anyone doesn’t know about JusTea – you should check them out, they are a non-profit organization that is teaching Kenyan tea farmers to process their own tea rather than selling it to a big company and not being paid appropriately.
I received a sample of this from Sil – thank you!! – and a couple of sample packages from Justea – thank you!! – for donating to their campaign.
If you had asked me yesterday about Kenyan tea, I would have said that I’ve only tried a couple of them, but they aren’t my favorite.
This has changed my mind about Kenyan tea. It’s is a really nice black tea. Deep, dark, bold everything I like in a black tea. I did get a bit of astringency but it didn’t bother me and seemed to be well balanced against the rest of the tea. This isn’t my favorite black, but the Justea campaign is a really good cause, and something I am happy to support. Hopefully they will continue their work in Kenya and there will be more good teas coming from them.
Thanks, Nicole_Martin, for sample of this tea!
Once you try a Kenyan black tea, you dont go back to greens.
Malty, fresh, juicy
Woke me up in the afternoon
“dark rye or pumpernickel” color
Good breakfast tea
I would rate as a “Buy” for your tea portfolio
No Sugar, Milk, Honey, needed – WIN
12/19/13 – This tea is tasting great after a big lunch.
I do enjoy these teas from Justea, but the base is so odd, isn’t it? It’s really it’s own thing. it’s almost a sour richness or something to it that sounds terrible, and could very nearly be terrible, yet is actually good when you adjust to it.
Huh. I’m not selling this to you guys am I? :P I shouldn’t have let it cool so much before I reviewed it!
I made a timolino of this today, except that I didn’t really. I think I turned my kettle off after putting it on as this water is barely warm. So the tea is barely steeped.
I’m still trying to get in the habit of getting to bed at a proper time for work, but the kiddo stays up until midnight and I keep ending up with 6 hours. My poor brain! Next week will ( easier bc she’ll be up earlier for daycare, while her dad is in class.
I will make real tea when I get to the office!
Ok – time to try the last of my kickstarter reward teas! I saved this for last because I’m generally not a huge chai fan, but I’m excited about the fennel and cloves in this.
And again, I’m rather surprised by this! It has a nice bold taste at the beginning, which quickly transitions into a nice sweet finish. This is amazing. I wish I had tried this sooner but I’m happy I had it now.
I’m tempted to get the $25 fundraiser reward, but now I don’t know which 2 of the three I would choose. :O Maybe I’ll wait until they get their store up and buy then. I’m happy the fund-raiser was so successful too! They made it to 88%, and are still accepting contributions.
ETA: I just read the review from Justea and they mention this is not supposed to be a traditional Indian Chai – that would explain why it tasted differently than I had expected! Also yyz compared it to molasses gingerbread which I totally get with this! :O
Thank you for our combined order, Nicole! These teas are still on sale over at justea.com if anyone else was interested (the refill pouches.) I had to buy a pouch of this for my chai addiction, and I knew that this was a unique blend from samples I’ve had before. It is pretty tasty! The ingredients are nicely balanced. Sadly, I still can’t taste the rose petals but I like that they’re included. Definitely a unique chai!
The ingredients sometimes change, so currently the website says my pouch has these: 100% natural ingredients: Rainforest Alliance Kenyan Black tea, allspice, clove, fennel, cinnamon, licorice root, ginger, black pepper, rose petals.
Additional notes: This one worked much better this time, maybe even just because I used a teaspoon and a half rather than one teaspoon before. So spicy and such unique spices in this blend. The black tea tasted like raisins! Hits the chai craving, for sure. I haven’t sipped enough chai yet this autumn.
Another lovely sample from JusTea – thank you! It is autumn and autumn is time for chai! There are different ingredients here that aren’t found in Indian chai… but I’m fine with that as long as the base is the lovely Kenyan black that I sipped recently. And rose petals don’t hurt! I wish I knew exactly WHAT ingredients are in here, since it looks like there are more than the three listed in the description when I am looking at the blend itself. Maybe the description just mentions three of the ingredients that aren’t in a typical chai? I steeped a teaspoon and a half just after boiling for 3 1/2 minutes. The brew color is actually lighter than I expected for chai. The black tea isn’t as noticeable as I would like. I guess it’s the spices overpowering the flavor of the black tea, which is probably why some chais use CTC black bases. The flavor is very clovey! I’m not a fan of ginger and I can only tolerate it when it is in chai. It’s spicy in its own way. I don’t know if I taste any rose, but it sure looks nice. This blend certainly stands alone in my chai collection, since it’s so different!
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!