Justea

Recent Tasting Notes

93
drank Kathryne Kenyan Earl Grey by Justea
110 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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98
drank African Chai by Justea
5 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
3 tasting notes

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.

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99

This isn’t your granny’s earl grey, but she’d like it is you shared with her.

The whole experience is richer, darker and maltier than your average earl grey. The flavouring also sits differently than your average EG. The first flavour you get is the malty tea, followed closely by the citrus flavour, the real earl grey citrus, floral and sweet flavour come near the end of the sip and stay on your palate.
The whole experience is like the first days of fall, the sun and flowers are still around, but the coziness of fall sweaters and reading books by the fire is also present.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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99

Our Kathryne Earl Grey tea is whole leaf Kenyan black tea leaves cold-pressed with organic Mediterranean bergamot oil.
“Rich, robust, clean, mouthy…has a lot of body to it. This is going to make a fantastic cup of rich, rich African Earl Grey!”
~Brendan Waye, Tea Sommelier

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99

This isn’t your granny’s earl grey, but she’d like it is you shared with her.

The whole experience is richer, darker and maltier than your average earl grey. The flavouring also sits differently than your average EG. The first flavour you get is the malty tea, followed closely by the citrus flavour, the real earl grey citrus, floral and sweet flavour come near the end of the sip and stay on your palate.
The whole experience is like the first days of fall, the sun and flowers are still around, but the coziness of fall sweaters and reading books by the fire is also present.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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100

I have to admit that I usually don’t like Earl Grey. I just don’t like the bergamotte oil. And I don’t like citrus flavors. And this tea has both. But it is absolutely fantastic! By far the best Earl Grey I’ve had so far.

Let’s start from the beginning. The base of this tea is Justea’s Kenyan Black. See my review notes there for details of the base tea, I won’t get too much into detail here. Just let me remind you that this black tea is absolutely amazing!

Brendan Waye has blended this black tea with organic, cold pressed, mediterranean bergamotte oil, check out his review of this tea here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx83jZ3ebJE

I had the pleasure of trying Brendans own Earl grey and he convinced me that Earl Greys can be really amazing. He is really a master of blending tea! And this one is IMO his masterpiece in the Earl Grey section.

The citrussy, fruity notes blend in fantastically with the base notes of the tea (malty, “green”, green grass and fresh sprouts of trees come to mind for me). This makes the tea absolutely rich and flavorful on the full palatte. The “sweetness” of the black base teas (that others have described as well) works so amazing with the fuitiness of the citrus notes coming from the bergamotte oil. Absolutely fantastic. You have the feeling of fresh lemons and limes combined with a nice robust Assam like tea. Amazing, this one is definitely going to have a permanent spot in my shelf!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank African Chai by Justea
5 tasting notes

Preface: If you are wanting an Indian chai, this tea is not that.

It is, however, an exciting twist on conventional chai with new spices (not cardamom, ginger or cinnamon based) in different quantities than you are used to. The blend is a really great mix of spice to tea ratio, with no argument for dominance. The spices harmonize really well with the Kenyan black tea base flavour.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Thomas Fluevog

You steep for only 2 min.? Is that the recommendation for this chai?

In my oppinion the spices need a little bit longer to develop their full potential. I found 4-5 min. much better for me. But maybe that’s personal preference.

JusTea

I prefer to steep it between 3-4 minutes with a bit more tea than normal ~ 1.5-2 tsp. But hey, personal preference is the way to go!! :D

K S

Nice to know this is intentionally not a standard chai – I guess that helps explain why I liked it.

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100
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
5 tasting notes

One of the best black teas I’ve come across. I usually love full bodied, malty Assam teas. But this Kenyan black tea is definitely in my top 3.

It is full bodied with a rich maltiness. Compared to strong Assams the color is a bit lighter. A nice wooden smell with a hint of “greenness” in it.

The taste is so full, rich and fresh! The Assam typical maltiness is complemented by a fresh, grassy taste with a note that reminds me of fresh shoots of wood in the spring. This makes the taste bright, brisk and pungent. In the aftertaste you feel only a slight hint of tannins, if you brew it strong and long. But opposed to Assams, where steeping it 1min too long can lead to a furry, feltlike feeling on the tongue, this tea can’t really be over steeped. So you don’t need exact timing, you can steep it a bit longer and you can even give it a second steep without problems.

As a scientist I drink a lot of tea during work. When I work I usually shut everything out, focus fully on what I am doing. But a sip of this tea makes me stop working, brings me back to earth, makes me sit back, savor the moment and relax. For me that’s the strongest indicator of a really great tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
darky

exactly what i think off this tea, its just fantastic!

Thomas Fluevog

Thanks darky! I really enjoyed reading your review. The Kenyan black is great, it’s a pity that it’s so hard to come by good Kenyan teas.

darky

Well it was my first african tea by that and i’m really thinking of importing the stuff to belgium. To bad shipping costs are fairly high. But its worth it tough…

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92
drank African Chai by Justea
110 tasting notes

My second sample from this Kenyan tea this time in a chai version. Dry it looks very beautiful loads of color from the clove, the fennel seeds, and rose petals. This smells very great to, a very very spicy oder. U just want to try it when u open the package.

Because i really was surprised with the regular kenyan black tea i’m not going deeper into the base of this tea. If u want to read more about the base just go to the other tasting note i made.

Once brewed this Chai still smells good and the color is a bit different then the ruby red from the tea without the spices. Taste wise the malty flavors come true and then the warming spices kick in. This one does not go bitter even with a bit of over steeping and thats a wonderful aspect!

Overall a very warming malty tea with a smooth finish, its really soft in the mouth!

Only one left to try is the Earl Grey, this is coming soon in my tasting note’s.

I’m thinking that i really need to start looking to buy some big packs of this tea, its a surprise i didn’t expected it to be that good!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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100

I was lucky enough to get 3 samples from JusTea and I can’t stop loving this tea! The first one I tried was the Kenyan Black tea and it’s been my favorite ever since. It’s full bodied, strong and everything I love in a black tea.

For the average tea drinker, I would suggest not steeping it as long as I did, I like my black teas strong so I tend to use a little extra tea and steep a bit longer.

This also re-steeps well! So don’t throw out those leaves, you’ll be missing out on a nice second cup.

Read my full review here – http://www.notimeliketeatime.com/justea-kenyan-black-tea-review/

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
JusTea

We should get together for tea some time…I sort of have large tea cup collection

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87
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1621 tasting notes

I really love this tea. There’s just something about it that’s different than I’m used to, but it’s hard to nail it down exactly.

I steeped it for 3 minutes because I didn’t want to risk it getting too strong for my tastes, and it was probably at less than boiling. The result is very smooth and fresh, with only the slightest astringency in the endnotes. It’s bold, but also slightly sweet. This is a hefty cup – it’s thick and malty. I’m also getting fruity notes in there as well.

For those of you who don’t know Justea is fundraising right now to get their company off the ground and help empower the Kenyan farmers who produce the tea (and cut out the middle-man). I highly recommend you check it out and support them here: http://www.justea.com/

(I wish I could support them again but… I need a job. Hopefully I find one in the next 30 days and then I can throw money at them!)
I’d like to support the campaign because I think this is a cuppa I’d like to keep around

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Thanks again to Justea for this sample. I was excited to find out that one of the samples that they were including was an Earl Grey, since as many of you know I love Earl Greys and have tried many of them. I am a lover of a well-bergamotted Earl; no light scenting here, please.

Based on some comments from K S I tried this one with a bit less leaf, 1.5 tsp for 12oz. Of course I don’t know whether due to that or if the bergamot is serving to cover up some of the astringency that I found in the base tea, but this tea was DELICIOUS. What a fantastic Earl Grey.

It reminds me a bit of my fave Earl, Lupicia’s. The bergamot is strong but never gets that citrus pith-y bitterness. Instead, it hits all the good-beramot notes: citrusy, slightly floral, bright and crisp. Here, the base is smooth and slightly sweet, which I love in an Earl. A rich, malty base pairs perfectly with bright citrusy bergamot. I didn’t find this astringent or bitter at all, just extremely tasty. This is a tea that I definitely want more of. Guess I better get in on their latest crowdsourcing campaign so I can get more of this tea: http://www.justea.com

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
K S

Ice it. It gets even better.

Sil

oooh good to know! thanks KS

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drank African Chai by Justea
1249 tasting notes

I have no idea if this is good chai. I rarely drink it. I don’t hate chai. I just don’t get it. That being said, the leaf is interesting to look at. The dry leaf is clove and pepper scented. Hot and no additives this tasted like spicy apple cider to me. I like that. As the cup cooled I added a splash of milk and now it tastes like chai.

Not a very good review but you got to work with what you got. I loved the earl grey and the black tea so I assume the quality level is the same.

Thank you Justea for the sample. By now you all know of their campaign to build a processing kitchen in Kenya. If somehow you missed it check them out on Facebook.

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80
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
4673 tasting notes

Justea sent these samples out to help out with part of their crowdfunding. They’re doing great things, so take a moment to check out their website! I opted to try this one first, though they were kind enough to send 2 others to me. Before trying their flavoured teas, i wanted to take a moment to enjot the straight black that they sent, since i believe it’s the base of their teas.

This is not a malty tea like others i’ve tried, but there is a good deal of body here to hold my attention. There is some astringency to this, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for a morning cup of tea.

I drink my teas straight, but i can see this being a great morning tea with a little milk and sugar. Overall, a great first impression from Justea!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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75
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1012 tasting notes

http://www.justea.com/ has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support farmers in producing their own tea, thus sold farm direct for fair trade prices.

I found this Kenyan black to be very fresh tasting, yet full flavored, malty, robust with cedar wood and cocoa notes. There is a light to moderate level of astringency present which I wasn’t into personally. however I enjoyed the freshness!

BTW, this tea is very good with dry chocolate biscuits. It just complimented the tea and made the astringency go down.

Full review on my blog, the Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/09/17/kenyan-black-tea-justea-oolong-owl-tea-review/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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99

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx83jZ3ebJE

Here’s certified Tea Sommelier Brendan Waye talking about the Kathryn Earl Grey. Make sure to use less leaf when drinking the tea without milk.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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82

When JusTea sent me this several weeks ago I was really excited by the prospect of trying an Earl Grey with a twist and it killed me not being able to review it yet. Earl Grey has been a favorite of mine absolutely forever, but because it is a favorite of mine I have very high standards.

Honestly, I didn’t like this tea at all in the beginning, it took quite a few cups for me to appreciate the differences the Kenya Black base brought to the table. There was a sweetness that I’m not accustomed to finding in an EG and the flavor was much more malty that I’m accustomed to. The familiar citrus flavors from the bergamot were there as was the slightly drying effect I generally associate with EG. What I loved was that this is no shy EG, it really packs a wallop, which may not appeal to everyone; however, I love a good strong cup of EG on a cold day like today.

My biggest disappointment with this tea, and one I had with the Kenyan Black as well, is that it just does not resteep well. I was only able to resteep it once and would love to see some improvement in that area.

One thing that I think is important to note is that the steeping instructions for this tea are slightly different than I am accustomed to using with a black tea and Earl Grey in general. It calls for a much lower temperature (195°F) and 2 teaspoons of leaf per 12oz. I double checked and all of the Earl Greys in my cabinet call for either boiling or near boiling water. For anyone who is having trouble with astringency, try dropping your steeping temperature and see if that makes a difference.

I would like to thank Tyrone at JusTea for sending me this sample. I hope you will all check out their crowdfunding campaign which launched on 16 September to raise the necessary capital to allow them to work with Kenyan farmers and provide quality “Direct Trade” tea to the masses and improve the quality of life of the farmers providing you your tea. You can find more information on their website http://www.justea.com/ you can also check out my full review of Kenya Black, which was used as a base for this tea on my blog
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2013/9/16/tuesday-tea-kenyan-black-justea.html

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1911 tasting notes

Thanks to Justea for providing this sample for review. I am pretty picky these days about teas and I no longer jump on every offer for free tea on the forums. But this company stuck out: working to bring a sustainable, whole-leaf tea processing company to Kenya, whose tea farmers grow most of the worlds’ tea (!) but see basically none of the profits as their product is chopped up into tea for bags. I have a soft spot for the fact that it’s Kenya, too, because I have spent some time in East Africa and the people there are so wonderful and really deserve a better option.

I tried this tea when I first got it because I couldn’t wait until the crowdfunding effort went live, now accessible at http://www.justea.com . At the time, I remember that it was malty and a bit sweet, but also with a decent hit of astringency. I think this astringency characterizes African teas in general, and more broadly it applies (for me) to most assams, which makes sense because the tea bushes in Africa are of var. assamica.

I steeped this one for a slightly shorter time than recommended (but at the recommended temp) and it has definitely toned down the astringency a bit. There’s pretty much no completely removing it, but it’s actually desirable for many people (usually described as “briskness”). The cup is a bit malty, with some cocoa notes in the nose but not really on the palate. There is definitely a slight fruitiness to this tea as well, perhaps a bit of stone fruit. Overall a very nice tea, and one I would highly recommend for lovers of a brisk morning cup. I can’t wait to try the Earl Grey that I also have from this company.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

This is also one of the few companies recently that i’ve jumped on the bandwagon to get free samples from. I really like what they’re doing. I’ve got a couple to try before their crowdfunding finishes so that i can help support that way.

K S

Dinosara – curious, how much leaf did you use? Either I am immune to the astringency from a lifetime of my parents steeping tea for, well until someone remembers to pour it up, or I use way less leaf than everyone else. Of course maybe it is both. I used about 1 1/2 tsp leaf in 10-12oz of water and steeped 3 minutes (no where near the 30 minutes mom and dad routinely use).

Dinosara

I used 2 tsp for 12oz, which is my standard black tea amount and what Justea recommends for the tea. I am also on the other end of the spectrum, and hyper-sensative to astringency.

Terri HarpLady

It seems that I’m the last to know about this!

Sil

Terri – I’m sending you some though!!!

Terri HarpLady

oh cool! Then all is well in my world!
;)

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A tasty, brisk tea to help you wake up in the morning!

For pictures, and my full review, please visit:
http://wordsabouttea.blogspot.com/2013/09/kathryne-kenyan-earl-grey-by-justea.html

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
JusTea

Awesome review, and thanks for playing with the steeping times. It’s the first time we’ve done the blend ourselves, so of course there will always be some tweaking. And I’ll come clean on my personal tea habits and admit I do like my blacks to resemble coffee…Not that I like coffee, wonder what freud would have to say to that.

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91
drank Kathryne Kenyan Earl Grey by Justea
1249 tasting notes

I love Earl Grey and I have some very definite ideas of how it should taste. I have a rule about it when reviewing – if it is anything but tea and bergamot you better call it something else or I will complain. If you change the name I will cut you some slack and judge it on its own merits. This tea passes on both ends of my rule. It is Earl Grey but the name change suggests to me there is something different about it. Thank you Justea for this subtle but important attention to detail.

My normal everyday earl is Ceylon based, which I believe to be the standard. I like my bergamot front and center. I don’t want to have to search for it but don’t overwhelm me. I do demand balance. I want to taste the tea as well. Some tea companies call their tea earl grey and overemphasize the base or the bergamot. Justea once again pays attention to the details and balances this blend nicely.

This particular blend using the Kenyan base is malty and smooth, yet slightly drying. It does not have the throat grabbing bite of the Ceylon standard. This is why I appreciate the name Kathryne, it suggests a softer, more gentle approach to my beloved tea.

The bergamot is very well suited to the base. By my standard it is not overpowering. The flavor is balanced between floral and fruit but I would say leaning towards floral. It is not perfumey or fake tasting. Nicely done.

After sipping this hot, I iced it down and found it to be very refreshing. This takes sweetener well. I greatly enjoyed this one. Thank you Justea.

For those who may have missed it – Justea is a non-profit organization attempting to break the cycle of poverty that too many tea farmers face by teaching them to process their own leaves and selling direct.

darky

very nice review, and i was planning on drinking this tonight after work… so now i got some sort idea what to expect! :)

K S

A side note – I tend to be an under-leafer compared to what others appear to use. I don’t measure exact but I used a little over a tsp (maybe 1 1/2) in around 10 oz water. I also used 190F water on this and the black tea.

K S

Upon further study, I simply seem to be far more tolerant of briskness. That surprises me as Assams often set my stomach on fire and cause face twisting contortions while sipping. With the Kenyan teas I only noticed a little dryness. Different strokes.

Lala

I love your Earl Grey rules. Totally agree!

darky

That dryness i understand, if a assam is brewed to far its either bitter or way to strong. While this one steeped to long is capable off not going weird in the mouth

allyshay

I just wanted to make a quick comment. I’m not associated with JusTea, in the fact that I don’t represent them. I can offer some insight on the name Kathryne Earl Grey. Through JusTea, I was able to honor my grandmother, someone who has been inspirational and deeply impacted my life, by naming this tea after her. Your reviews of the tea mean a lot to our 93- year-old grandmother and us as a family, too. Thank you for helping us make her legacy extend beyond our family!

K S

allyshay, what a wonderful note to read first thing in the morning. You have made my day. I will now think of your grandmother with every sip of this wonderful tea. Thank you so much for adding this personal touch.

K S

allyshay, I tried to message you but you have to be following me. Is it possible to email me a picture of your grandmother? I would love to include the information you shared along with the picture on my blog. Follow me and I can message you with an address.

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81
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1751 tasting notes

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