234 Tasting Notes
So, there we are, trying this tisane iced…and I like it even better than last year´s summer iced tea (jamaican rum iced fruit tisane, also from Kent&Sussex), so I change its rating ;-)
The way I prepare iced tea is as follows : I put on a pot of tea, leave the loose tea infuse for hours (overnight ideally), and I then put the liquid in a soda bottle in the fridge. This way, you only need a small amount of tea to get a strong taste, and a bag of 100g normally gets me through the season alright (and the season for iced tea is long in Madrid!) Almost no fuss to make it, which is absolutely fine by me.
The blood orange comes through very nicely in this iced tea, which makes it a citrusy lemonade without the over-the-top acidity or sweetness (for those who generously add sugar to their home made lemonade) and the added bonus being the definite taste of blood orange. Love it!
And Bird&Blend just mailed me to say that it is National Iced Tea Day in UK, so isn´t that a nice coincidence!!!
Flavors: Blood Orange, Citrusy, Fruity, Rosehips
Kenya teas tend to be strong and malty, and when smelling the aroma´s of the dry leaves this is confirmed. Also steeped the strong fragrance keeps on, but in mouth it´s far less strong than what its fragrance makes you believe! The maltiness is present (it even reminds me a bit of some pu erh teas), which makes it – for me at least – the perfect breakfast tea, but it´s lighter than what I expected (from experience with other Kenya and Tanzania teas), more adapted to Summer, I can pleasantly add.
Unlike the recommendation (see below) of having it with milk, I always drink my teas black and this is a wonderful tea to enjoy black, as it seems more delicate and complex than standard breakfast teas.
Info on K&S C&T co website :
Kenya Kaimosi GFBOP Tea
The Kaimosi Tea Estate is situated by thick forest, on the edge lies the Sirwa river and the South Nandi Forest. This tea echoes that of an Assam but with less bite, it makes a perfect Breakfast Tea. Sunny warm mornings paired with regular rainstorms creates a briskness in this tea which is light and enjoyable.
Type of Tea- Orthodox Black Tea
Origin- North Nandi Disrict, Kenya, Africa
Leaf Grade- Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe
Altitude- 6000 Feet Above Sea Level.
Brewing Guide- Use boiling water (100 degrees) Infuse for 3-5 minutes
How to Serve- Serve best with milk.
Flavors: Malt, Tea
And here´s my review of the other Kusmi tea I was treated to with my l´occitane order.
It smells really like the green chewing gum of my youth (I don´t know whether it still exists, as I haven´t been chewing gum since ages)…amazing! And once steeped it´s nice, refreshing, but it doesn´t have the fresh minty kick to it as for instance Palais des Thés´ “menthe glaciale” has! Oh well…
Flavors: Bubblegum, Green, Mint
Last week, I decided to pamper myself a bit buying, no not this tea, but a face spray for hot days from l´occitane. The warm days have arrived in Madrid, and then a nice mist applied to your face is a wonderful treat, a habit I took up while living in the southwest of France. And the temporary present added to my order were 2 tins of Bio teas from Kusmi Tea. So, this is the first of them I open and try.
I had already tried Kusmi Tea´s 4 red fruits, which is a black tea blend I liked better than expected, but looking at the reviews of this hibiscus-based tea, I thought it wouldn´t be my type of tea either : as most of the reviewers, I´m not too fond of hibiscus-based teas. But I don´t think the hibiscus overwhelms everything else here, so once in a while it´ll be quite enjoyable, I reckon.
The smell of the dry tea seems quite natural, and when steeping, it first turns mauve then a dark fuchsia, which is nice (I drank this tea from a glass mug, so the optical side is a plus ;-) ). The hot tea is fruity and tender, and it´s very easy to drink…which I think is the secret of it´s success by the people who don´t drink that much tea. As suggested by some reviewers, I need to try this cold as well, to see whether it improves that way.
Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Red Fruits
Another breakfast tea by Kent&Sussex I only opened when finishing my previous breakfast tea (Tanzanian BOP).
Very enjoyable breakfast tea, malty enough to have a real wake-up call, but more elegant (better balance between Assam and Kenya teas?) than the standard breakfast teas. The loose leaf is less cut up, which also might add to this impression.
From K&S tea&coffee co. :
Welsh Breakfast Tea BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe) is a Black Tea Blend that goes hand in hand with our English, Irish and Scottish Breakfast Teas.
It consists of leaves from the Dufflaghur Estate in the Sonitpur District of Assam, India, as well as Kenya in East Africa. Such a combination is, put simply, exquisite, providing a deep malty aroma with distinct nutty notes.
Then there is its caffeine content, which amounts to around 45-mg per 8-oz cup. Better still, according to evidence from countless scientific studies, it comes with Black Tea benefits.
Regardless of whether you’re Welsh, our Welsh Breakfast Tea BOP is bound to impress from first to last sip. We pack it fresh to order here at our Kent-based factory, ensuring quality and consistency, time and time again.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Malt, Tea
Last year´s fruit tisane I use over Summer to have iced tea is almost gone, so I made sure I ordered a new variety from Kent&Sussex Tea&Coffee Co to try out this year. So far, I´ve only had it hot, and I must say it stood the test. I love blood oranges, and we´re still in season, so I am currently enjoying them fresh. However, their season is short and it is hard to find a tisane with a true to taste blood orange addition. This one performs quite well, and I´m eager to try it out in iced tea shape! The rosehip and hibiscus don´t overwhelm the rest, which is great.
Flavors: Blood Orange, Citrusy, Hibiscus, Rosehips
Orange and eucalyptus rooibos, and that´s not only the name, also the perfect summary of the experience of having this tea : menthol and fruity in nose and mouth with the rooibos taking care of the texture and body.
As I´ve been spending quite some time o my terrace the last few days, this is a perfect companion as it is summer-y and fresh.
Flavors: Fruity, Menthol, Rooibos, Summer
I´m honestly only guessing the origin of this tea, as I bought it in a small independent tea shop in Belgium, and I´ve been told that a lot of these tea shops get their tea at the big French houses.
It´s one of those teas (again ;-) ) I tend to buy on an impulse, and then store somewhere to forget where…until I move to another place or decide to clean out my tea cabinet! Fortunately, the tea was stored in an airtight pouch, and so, it actually is still very fragrant. It´s not the best earl grey I´ve drunk, but it´s enjoyable, not too strong and quite elegant (discretely floral).
Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Tea
I was very curious about this infusion, so I decided to buy a pouch. Of course, preparing this tisane is a treat for the nose, as especially the dry buds smell wonderfully. The steeping takes longer with this tisane (5 to 10 minutes is recommended by Kent&Sussex Tea Co.), and the colour changes throughout the steeping process : surprisingly, it starts darker blue and ends up clearer near colourless. The typical lavender aroma´s change as well and I even find myself noticing a sort of antiseptic smell, which I´m not so fond of. Maybe 10 minutes of steeping is too long, as in mouth a definite wood taste comes through. Will try to steep only 5 minutes next time, to compare.
Flavors: Lavender, Wood
This is one of those teas I buy on an impulse, and then store away, to discover quite a while later, grr.
A shame and often a waste of money, but here, I have the impression that the loose tea has maintained its quality better than in other cases. Without any temperature indication on the pouch, I brew a heaped teaspoon of tea at 80ºC, and after 2 minutes it turns out really nicely.
A lot of taste for a white tea (also quite rich in colour), with even a smoky hint, but also a sweet touch to it, very well balanced. In short, a white tea I can really enjoy on its own.
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Smoke, Sweet