Justea

Recent Tasting Notes

91
drank Kathryne Kenyan Earl Grey by Justea
1354 tasting notes

Realized how far I am falling behind in my class that I was ahead of every one else in until I caught the lazies. So today I went to the library and watched all the required videos. Still have to download some example pdf’s and I have two assignments due before Wednesday that will require a ton of research and work.

Walked in the door at home exhausted and knew I needed Earl Grey to help me relax. This is a wonderful version. Not heavy on the bergamot and lots of emphasis on the Kenyan base. Really like this one.

The tea helped but I made the mistake of checking my FB page before coming here. Please bear with me as I vent. Trouble in the praise team is brewing. Ladies, no offense, but in general you are really hard for guys to work with. With guys you just tell them to stop being a jerk and get over themselves – and they do and even if they don’t that’s usually the end of it. Drama and having to constantly calm people down wears thin after a while. The lady involved knows she is behaving terribly but that doesn’t seem to stop her. I’m not in charge so I am not sure why this has become my issue to deal with. Arrgh! Give me strength.

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91
drank Kathryne Kenyan Earl Grey by Justea
1354 tasting notes

I love it when you wake up and don’t have to debate with your sleepy head on what tea you will start with today. I could smell this before I even got up (metaphorically – cause the tea elves in my home don’t make it to suit me). Filtered my water and prepared a bagel while steeping, now its sippin’ time.

I love the smoothness and the fruity/floral aspects of the bergamot. This really hits all the right buttons for me.

I found out in a comment of my first review that this is named to honor a 93 year old grandmother – so here’s to you Kathryne!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Kathryne Kenyan Earl Grey by Justea
1354 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
1940 tasting notes

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81
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1940 tasting notes

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81
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1940 tasting notes

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81
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1940 tasting notes

My impressions of this tea, based off my first few sips are actually pretty similar to the impression I formed based on the aroma. It has a nutty flavor with a hint of malt, but the sweetness is much more apparent in the brewed tea than it was with just the dry leaf. While the tea is hot I do pick up a hint of astringency, but not enough to bother me, only enough to make itself known. This fades almost completely as the tea cools to room temperature.

I was not provided with suggested times for resteeping this tea so I opted to go with my default for black tea. My second steep was at 4m and produced a cup very similar to the first. I was surprised that this tea actually managed to gain sweetness in the second steep. The more I drink, the more I enjoy the almost fruity aspect of this tea.

You can check out my full review of 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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drank Kenyan Black by Justea
180 tasting notes

Upon first pour, you immediately notice the malty, earthy aroma. It’s smooth and slightly sweet, and it’s taste profile is reminiscent of a good coffee. There’s very mild dryness, not astringent, with practically no bitterness. It is the best Kenyan black I’ve tried and would definitely recommend it to anyone trying and looking for a good Kenyan Black.

Nicole

Everyone must have gotten their shipments today! :)

RogersCK

Justea specifically requested that reviews start today :) I received these a couple of weeks back :)

Nicole

Ah. Not sure I got that memo. :)

The Bacon Fairy

actually Nicole we were pretty happy to have some early reviews, but we wanted to have this crazy mass action of tea reviews for when our campaign started. -Britta : Justea member

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The aroma of this tea is very floral from the bergamot, while the citrus hides in the background.

The bergamot taste is very overpowering, and it lingers melding with a strong citrus taste in the end. It has an astringent finish, with slight bitterness.

This tea is drinkable for me, but definitely does not rank high in my list of Earl Greys.

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97

What a pleasant smelling tea! The aroma is a wonderful mix of earthy and malty with a slight note of nuttiness. It is a very clean, pure tea smell which I think would be great to drink on its own but also a perfect base for blends.

Again the sweetness, I think I have found the source of that intoxicating sweet aroma in the other teas. The aroma is a wonderful mix of malt, marshmallows, cocoa nibs, and delicate earthiness. I almost feel the aroma of this tea can be a dessert all on its own.

My favorite of the three! I love this tea, it is a perfect blend of maltiness, richness, earthiness and sweetness. I am not sure why this black tea is so sweet but it is, it is not sugary sweet I should say, but very sweet for a tea. I stand by my original assumption that this tea would be great in blends. I feel like this tea has the best aspect of Assam, Keemun, and Kenyan blacks and blended it into a magical happy taste. I am certainly going to be getting more of the Kenyan Black for my collection.

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12

Woo! That Earl packs a punch! Very strong bergamot and what seems like a mild note of lemons hiding under the bergamot. Not an unpleasant potency, it would be perfect as a wake up aroma. I often amuse myself by comparing a good Earl Grey to Victorian smelling salts, it would make a better fainting remedy I think! The aroma is very tart with little whispers of malt from the base tea.

Sweetness, that was something I was not expecting! After the initial surprise of the sweet aroma I get lots of citrus: lemons, oranges, bergamot, it is a veritable citrus melange. There is also a very pleasant underlying maltiness to the aroma that I am thoroughly enjoying.

I did not like this tea, and I feel really awful for saying it. I thought perhaps it was a fault on my end so I brewed a new cup with a lower temperature and I still did not enjoy it. The taste was unpleasantly bitter, the bitterness you get when eating a citrus fruit and you make the mistake of accidentally eating the rind. After the initial (almost medicinal tasting) bitterness fades you are left with the taste of sweetness and bergamot. As the tea cools the bitterness fades some but it is replaced with tartness, it is better but still not my…umm…cup of tea

Thomas Fluevog

Hi Amanda,

I enjoyed reading your review. I’m a bit confused about the 12 point rating, though. The first two paragraphs sound actually very positive to me. Ok, you seem to not like the bitterness (which I in fact enjoy very much) and subjectively don’t like the tea (which is great, critical reviews are often more informative than overly positive ones) but 12 points seem a bit harsh to me.

Anyway, thanks for the review, also on the other two teas from Justea. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on that one. Good to see that you also liked the black tea, it’s amazing!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

The black tea was amazing! I gave it the rating I did because the bitterness made it unpalatable, in order to drink it to give it a full review I had to cringe while doing so. The aroma and such was wonderful and even the aftertaste was good, but the initial bitterness was so intense that it felt like I was drinking a medicine instead of a tea. I love a little bitterness in tea, it wakes it up and really brightens it, especially the astringent bitterness you usually get in blacks, I do not however like a tea that is so bitter that I cannot drink it. I really wanted to like the tea because the aroma was so fantastic, I even tried rebrewing it, but I really feel that no matter how good the tea is, if I find it undrinkable then what can I do?

If anything I should have been more clear with how critical I was being, but saying ‘this tea was so bitter it made me spasm because the intensity of the bitterness’ seemed too harsh.

Thomas Fluevog

Ah, now I understand. Thanks for clearing that up! And thanks for the detailed additional information!
And yes, the tea has a bitterness but I actually thought for this kind of tea it’s not that bitter at all. None of those astringent tannins. But I probably brewed mine not very strong, since I knew that I don’t like Earl Greys in general.
Maybe trying it with milk would be a good idea. Unfortunately I was out of milk yesterday ;-)

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70

Very sweet and very spicy are the first things I notice when appreciating this tea. The leaves and spices are a beautiful combination of colors…pardon me while I ogle this tea for a moment. The aroma blends earthiness, floral (mostly rose), pepper, and fennel notes with little hints of licorice and coriander for a powerful yet subtle aroma. It reminds me of the spice bushes I had in my yard when I was a little girl.

The spiciness has increased! Very peppery, which I like, also very earthy, which I also like. For all that is smells very spicy it is also very mild. Nothing really over powers your senses so you can just inhale the aroma and enjoy it. This chai smells mouthwatering.

My first impression on this tea is ‘what an unusual chai’ the spices blend together but no one flavor sticks out. This is just a personal preference, but when I drink chai I like one flavor to be king while the other flavors play as courtier to it. The fennel gives a wonderful mouth tingle (always a favorite) and mix that with the pepper, sweetness, and spice warmth and you almost get a chai that feels like a palate cleanser. I do feel like there may be too many spices or just too much going on because the flavors become muddied. Just as a contrast, Ben had a taste and really enjoyed it, so I do not think this is any fault of the tea just a preference thing. The chai becomes sweeter as it cools and gains a level of richness. I am curious to try this as an iced chai at some point.

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98
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1450 tasting notes

Additional notes: I was thinking of buying some of this one (which I really shouldn’t!) but luckily Dexter3657 sent me a few extra teaspoons in that awesome package so it will prevent me from buying some at the moment. :D thanks so much! This time around it doesn’t taste like Yunnan, though at the time I thought I was projecting what I wanted it to taste like anyway. It is tough to describe how this DOES taste other then Kenyan tea. Kenyan tea actually has its own flavor profile, especially if it isn’t processed in the CTC way and you can actually taste anything through all that astringency. But this is unique & nice.

JustJames

i just got my christmas order from these guys…. can’t wait to try this one. they gave me two beautiful samples of it! most kind.

Cavocorax

I’m waiting to see what they’ll do for Boxing Day. I asked them on twitter, and they said they would have a sale… I’d like more of this one, but I’m undecided about the other two.

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98
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1450 tasting notes

I was in the mood for a Yunnan tea, but I thought I’d give this one a try. Even though this is a Kenyan tea, it has the exact flavor profile I wanted anyway. Malty chocolately goodness! After a three minute steep the flavor is divine (it might be a bit much for some, but it has the perfect astringency for me). So it has the malt and chocolate of a Yunnan tea, but there is an astringency here that might not usually be with a Yunnan. The brisk Yunnan then! The flavor reminds me of something I recently had but I’m not sure what it was — definitely something from Butiki or Teavivre though… so only the best! The cup color is a lovely light mahogany. The dry leaves are very black and about a half inch long, the fragrance is surprisingly grassy! I know I’ve compared this to a Yunnan, but that is only because that was what I was in the mood for and was surprised that it was so similar. This MUST be the best Kenyan tea I’ve tried. Very delicious! I will certainly enjoy the rest of my free sample — thank you!
www.JusTea.com

Nicole

I am deciding whether or not I want to do their next campaign that launched today so I can get some of the Earl Grey. :)

Tea Sipper

I haven’t tried the EG sample they sent me yet.. looking forward to it!

K S

I guess I must be numb to the astringency in this. I found it to be way smoother than an Assam or Ceylon. I did make the Yunnan connection.

Nicole

I thought I was supposed to get EG & chai samples, but if I did, none of the sample packages were labelled as such. So I’m sharing the sample packs to make more people buy tea. :)

K S

I got all three. I’ll post reviews later to spread them out. Loved the EG.

Cavocorax

I really enjoyed it, but can’t afford to contribute more right now. I hope they succeed because I would like to order more later on.

darky

i was comparing it to assam, but yunnan came up in my mind to! I didn’t point it out in my review tough its nice to see someone mention it!

Tea Sipper

I’m glad two of you thought of Yunnan and it wasn’t just my craving talking!

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90
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
110 tasting notes

I’m having a second cup from the same leafs and its still just as good. A bit less malty but more softer in taste and more sweet. I can really recommend this to anyone wanting something new!

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90
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
110 tasting notes

I have to thank justea for the big samples and especially for there work with this fairtrade project in kenya. I just love it when people help others, people that in many options don’t got a other way off living deserve some help and if that tea kitchen is a way to help get them more self employed then thats a very good thing!

Now time for tea talk!

The dry leaf smell very fresh and even a bit fruity tough this is the regular kenyan black. When brewing the leaf the liquor turns out a ruby like red (just like someone else here on steepster noticed). Never had a African tea except some rooibos but technically speaking thats a herbal.

I’m fond of strong black tea’s like assam, in color this reminds me a bit of assam tea. My first sips with this tea is when its a bit to hot. But even then i can notice a strong full body element. When its cooled down a bit more u get a fresh riche taste thats a bit malty!

I’m comparing this to great assam and its passing the test. If the cost for sending a larger parcel isn’t to big i’m pretty damn sure i’m going to order this again!

I’m very surprised about the quality of this tea, didn’t know the region was able to produce tea’s that in quality might be equal with chinese and indian tea’s…

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drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1354 tasting notes

Starting my day way too early. Can’t sleep. Can’t wake up either. Brisk tea to the rescue. This is so smooth compared to most Assam teas I’ve tried. A very nice morning cup that takes sweetener well.

Terri HarpLady

Good morning!

K S

Yes, yes it is. :)

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drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1354 tasting notes

The brew in the picture looks orange. In my cup it was more of a beautiful ruby red. I was completely surprised by this tea. After reading that 95% of bagged black tea is Kenyan tea, I was expecting this to taste like, well tea. You know like the grocery store stuff. Nope not even close! This is wonderfully malty. Silky smooth with no rough edges. Not bitter. Slightly drying. Nice depth.

Even if this were not part of a great non-profit effort to break the cycle of poverty in Kenya, I would still recommend this. It is really good.

More in depth review here: http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2013/09/justea-kenyan-black-tea.html

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drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1736 tasting notes

One more upside to this one—appears to be un-ruinable on a Monday morning. Have no idea what either temp or steep time was (one of the days when the eyes aren’t open till after lunch) and, regardless, it was full and rich and deep and perfect.

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drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1736 tasting notes

Doesn’t lose its punch on the second steep—I just made it in a smaller mug. Takes milk very nicely.

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drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1736 tasting notes

Received this, with my thanks, from the JusTea folks in conjunction with a special campaign going on here: http://www.justea.com/

First cup steeped to a deep ruby-mahogany color. Light texture; dark flavor. Initial sip made me think, “Coffee?” Not exactly; more like dark rye or pumpernickel.

Will definitely appeal to tea-in-hobnail-boots lovers.

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90
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
25 tasting notes

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90
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
25 tasting notes

I got my JusTea order from the IndieGogo campaign!! Opened the bag and it came with 3 separate samples. NICE! Opened the 2oz. of tea and the smell was WONDERFUL! Brewed up a cup and was really happy. Smells even better after brewed. A really nice morning cup of tea. Made my son a cup and added a small amount of milk for his cup and he loved it. I was so glad that I bought this tea and helped this small startup company that is helping the farmers in Kenya rise above poverty. On Sept. 16th they are launching another crowdfunding campaign to try to reach their original target. I will be buying more of this as a regular in my cupboard!

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

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90
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
25 tasting notes

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