983 Tasting Notes
A new to me tea company. This is a bagged tisane. The steep produces a very light clear yellow brew. Given the product description, I was expecting a tart blast of flavor that is typical of herbal teas. This is instead a quiet far more delicate lightly tart cranberry tasting cup. That may be a lot of adjectives but I much prefer this over the hibiscus driven blends.
As the cup cooled I added Splenda and it transformed the cup. I swear this tastes like the hot spicy apple sauce my grandmother used to make. Chamomile has kind of an apple taste to me anyway but the sweetener brings it out and makes the cranberry and lemongrass blend behind it for a very pleasant cup.
Cudos for bringing memories of my grandmother into the cup. (That is the second time today tea and grandmothers have been brought to my attention) Now if I just had a slice of my grandmothers lemon pie to go with this.
Cup from last night. I’m not a fan of spearmint but it kind of works here. Helps me fall asleep faster and stay that way.
I have been getting 4-5 hours sleep lately so I had this last night and turned in at 9:00 woke up around 7:30. So yeah for that.
Unfortunately I woke up with a massive headache. It got so bad I got sick to my stomach (TMI sorry). I am just now feeling like even thinking about tea and it is 3:30. I had things to do but I guess they will wait.
I love this. The touch of vanilla takes it over the top.
Iced with Splenda for the monkey. Its like 68 outside and started pouring. I’m soaked and cold but not complaining because this tastes good.
Last time I mentioned this tea I was overwhelmed by homework and watching videos (at Starbucks) for my class. Yesterday the prof singled me out in class as having some real skills. He has even been showing me little things that he hasn’t mentioned to the rest of the group because I am further along than most. I guess old dogs can learn new tricks if they have enough tea in them.
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.
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.
A simple fun bag tea. Tastes like Jolly Rancher to me but I can see the cotton candy aspect gmathis mentions. Sweet candy without going all cough syrup. The base I catch lightly and mostly in the aftertaste. Not a lot of depth but sometimes you just want simple. Thanks gmathis for sharing.
Using the last of this one. Maybe its a year and a half old. The scent of grapes still pours out of the bag when opened. I used my clear glass press for this as I love the way the leaf moves in the water. The dance is an important part of my preparation experience, as is admiring the dry and wet leaf and the accompanying aromas through the process. During the dance most of the leaf hangs from the surface like a canopy. Other leaves pirouette downward in glorious freedom. I let this one go longer than normal just to watch. The liquor is a bright yellow/honey. The taste is as fresh as the day this arrived. A beautiful tea.
I have learned more from sipping teas from Teavivre than any other company. Just one of the lessons learned is I really love properly processed jasmine tea. Premium Dragon Pearls is my favorite. This Silver Needle is a very close second.
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
After getting all over confident with my first experience with a gaiwan, I have to humbly admit I burned the pudding out of my fingers steeping this one. Gungfu (with skill) not so much. I tried using the traditional method of pouring by grasping the rim edges and the lid. Ouch and double ouch. My novice approach of fingers under the saucer and thumb on the lid was much less painful. I switched back but the damage was done. Nothing serious. I’ll be over it by morning.
Second point I used a lot of leaf this time. I wanted the true gungfu experience. Normally I would use about 2 g. Today I used something like 8. This filled up the gaiwan after a couple steeps. That seems to be what others shoot for. Personally, I thought it added little from my perspective. Your mileage may vary.
1st steep at 20 sec was lightly smoky which I have never caught before.
3rd steep was the most fragrant. Wonderfully white tea aromatic.
5th was similar to third and woodsy as it cooled.
2, 4, 6-8 I poured into a mug so I could feed the Splenda monkey. I’m trying but golly the monkey thought it was much more flavorful this way.