Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Justea, Kathryne Kenyan Earl Grey

Justea Description:
Our Kathryne Earl Grey tea is whole leaf Kenyan black tea leaves cold-pressed with organic Mediterranean bergamot oil.

“Rich, robust, clean, mouthy…has a lot of body to it. This is going to make a fantastic cup of rich, rich African Earl Grey!”
~Brendan Waye, Tea Sommelier

Sample provided by Justea

My Review:
JusTea is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help the small tea farmer of Kenya. This is to be accomplished by teaching the farmers to process their own leaf rather than selling the raw leaf to the factories. The average farmer, according to JusTea, makes roughly $2 a day from their efforts. By selling direct through JusTea, the farmer will earn half the selling price of the tea instead of 1%.

I have already sampled the black tea and found it to be superb and beyond my expectations. This tea will be the true test for me as I not only love Earl Grey but have some very definite opinions of how it should taste. I am proceeding with cautious optimism.

The sample came sealed in simple looking brown non-resealable pouch. As I understand it, if you order this tea it does come in a resealable pouch. I cut the top off and took a deep whiff. Glorious bergamot and a hint of spice and pepper. Interesting.

I used about 2 tsp in my press and 190F water. The steep was 3 minutes. The liquor is the same beautiful red orange that I noted of the black tea. The aroma is definite Earl Grey but not in an overpowering way.

The sip is quite lovely. My normal everyday Earl uses Ceylon tea and has a heavy bite to it. This is so opposite but instantly likeable. The Kenyan tea base is very smooth and malty. The bergamot is much lighter than the pouch smell would suggest, yet the level matches the base perfectly. It is somewhere between floral and fruity and not fake or perfumey.

Out of curiosity I iced down the tea. I would normally have used less water while brewing so the ice would not water down the glass. Even though this is a little weak from the ice it holds its flavor and is very refreshing. I noted the colder it got the more enjoyable it became.

Neither hot or iced resulted in any bitterness or tongue grabbing astringency. It is slightly drying.

I really liked this version of the classic. Kathryne Earl Grey is a gentler smoother version that is flavorful but not overly heavy on the bergamot (by my standards). I definitely recommend this to the Earl Grey connoisseurs out there.

Visit the JusTea website to help a good cause.

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