83
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
2031 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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Comments

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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Profile

Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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