Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Simpson & Vail, Kenya Black OP Malaika

Simpson & Vail Description:

This tea is from the Malaika tea factory serving 680 small-scale tea farmers in Kenya. The factory is located just south of the Mt Kenya National Park at an elevation of 5446 ft (1660m) above sea level. In the Swahili language, Malaika means Angel.

The beautifully medium (OP) black twisted leaves contain some marvelous looking tippy leaves of various white & golden hues producing a bright amber cup with a heady aroma. The tea has a strong, full-bodied taste with delicious citral tones.

Brew tea at 212º – steep for 3 minutes.

Price: $8.65/4oz

My Review:
I picked up this one and several others when a fellow tea lover was trying to get her stash under control. Her generosity doubled the size of my black tea collection. A serious thank you!

The leaf is twisted dark curls of broken leaf with rust colored buds well represented through out. I used about 2/3 scoop of leaf, which looked to be about 2.5g. I used fully boiling water and a 3 minute steep in my press.

The brew is a pretty deep reddish orange. I sniffed the wet leaf and I can’t quite place the familiar scent. It is maybe like cocoa or caramel and sugar that has been burnt in the bottom of a pan. A better smell than maybe it sounds.

The sip is familiar and different at the same time. There is an underlying note that reminds me of hazel nut. There are also honey and caramel notes. It has a nice bite. The aftertaste is light and malty. This has some similarities to Golden Monkey but with much more subtle flavoring. It has more similarities to a breakfast Assam but it is not as in your face.

I steeped cup two for 4 minutes and it was was bronze in color and still flavorful. This cup tasted less honey and cocoa and more planty.

A nice tea I would definitely not turn down.

Visit Simpson & Vail.

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