Justea

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Recent Tasting Notes

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
2012 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
2012 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
1673 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
1673 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
1915 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
1915 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
1915 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
35 tasting notes

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90
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
35 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
35 tasting notes

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87
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1774 tasting notes

Sipdown! This was one from Aug of last year so it was very satisfying to finish it off before I hit the 1 year mark. It was enjoyable but I"m not in a rush to buy another big tin of it any time soon. Maybe after I’ve sipped down a lot of what I have!

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87
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1774 tasting notes

My Justea box arrived today and the mailman was nice enough to leave it outside for me! Whee!

I bought it on Boxing Day so I snagged 75g of Chai which is going into another box witha bunch of samples to my sister. I hope she enjos exploring all of these.

The first few sips of this were sorta sour and just really strong and ripe, and a little weird. But it mellowed out once it cooled and now it is really good: malty and fruity and strong. Phew! Now I have no regrets about 150g of this baby sitting on my shelf!

TeaBrat

this is good stuff!

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87
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1774 tasting notes

Goodbye my sweet kenyan tea. Goodbye!

Goodbye! (89)
(I seriously need to order some more of this though)

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87
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1774 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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87
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1774 tasting notes

My first cup of this was so thick and reminiscent of molasses. It was too much so I had to dump it and steep it for 3 min. It was so much better!

It’s very strong, and malty, and slightly sweet and full of depth. I can’t wait to try the other samples.

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

How long did you steep the first cup? 5 mins?

JusTea

Glad you tried it again! Because of the freshness of the tea, it requires a shorter steep time than many other black teas! Hope you try the Chai and the Earl Grey soon!

Cavocorax

I can’t wait to! I was so impressed by the Kenya Black!

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drank African Chai by Justea
180 tasting notes

A great combination of chai spices and malty black tea. Straight up, you taste the maltiness of the black tea, followed by the spices with a sweet aftertaste. Added milk and sweetener, the tea becomes more flavorful with the spices melding better with the black base.

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88
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
750 tasting notes

Still thick, malty and Assamy after a year or more. Not going through this quickly but I am starting to see the bottom of the tin. I can see in a couple of months needing to decide if I should restock this or if the other Assam types of tea I have on hand are good enough/better.

Not lying if I say that a large part of the appeal of this tea is the company and what they are doing. I am happy to see that the site now offers bags as well as tins, though I wish they would say how much tea is in each. I am also guessing that this is now Mount Kenya Black.

Use All The Teaware for this cup is my Emma Bridgewater Badger mug.

http://tinyurl.com/qfy7gem

And since we are having pizza for dinner, Coke is kind of necessary. Assam types of tea go pretty well with pizza but I just can’t go without a Coke with it. :) And yes, I have been eating and tea-ing my way through today.

tea-sipper

I was JUST on Justea’s website today. :D

Nicole

You are a horrible influence. :)

Dexter

Mmmmmmm Coke from a bottle!!!!! Almost impossible to find glass bottles here – you don’t realize how much better it is until you can’t find them.
I really need to get more of this. It’s great tea and I too love the work they are doing in Kenya. :)

Nicole

@Dexter – And it’s Mexican Coke so it has sugar instead of corn syrup. You probably have less expensive shipping and don’t have to deal with crummy currency conversions since they are in Canada, right? … D’oh, just checked the Where to Buy link and apparently there is a store local to me that sells it! Well, I know what I’m doing next Monday!

Dexter

Shipping sucks even within Canada but being in CAD is a beautiful thing. The USD/CAD exchange is just pathetic right now. My Africa trip is sliding through my fingers because of the exchange rate – it’s just crazy expensive…..
Yay for you being able to buy it locally!!!!

Nicole

Aw, no. :( Is the exchange rate as stinky for CAD/GBP? Maybe you could find a British company to book through?

Dexter

I’m finding all the companies are quoting in USD (or courtesy conversion but must be paid in USD)
Waiting til after the holidays to look at one more compromised option – but once you’ve looked at private custom tours it’s hard to go back. You have to do what you can afford, but at what point is no longer what you want to do? Need to decide if I want to compromise or if I want to wait a year or two and see if the dollar recovers. It’s just scary to be at the mercy of exchange rate when it’s plummeting and the “experts” are saying to expect it to fall lower yet.

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88
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
750 tasting notes

This is a thick Assamy type of tea. Chewy and bold. I absolutely love it with cream. :)

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