Thursday, December 3, 2015

Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company, Orange Cookies

Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company Description:
Orange Cookies Flavoured Black Tea! A super new spicy loose leaf Tea. Combining pieces of Sweet Cinnamon Spicy Cardamoms Cloves and Fruity Pepper with lovely chunks of Sweet Apple pieces. A wonderful concoction with the scent of juicy Spanish Oranges.

Black Tea, Apple pieces, Cinnamon bits, Coriander, Flavouring, Cardamom pods, Orange slices, Pink Pepper and Cloves.

Sample provided by Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee

My Review:
The Kent and Sussex Tea & Coffee Company is new to me, though it was established in 1982. It is the trading name for three companies. The one that will be of interest to most of you here is Tea And Coffee Dot Com Limited, as that is the online shop where some 700 different teas and coffee can be found.

Today I am reviewing Orange Cookies Tea. It is a black tea. First lets discuss the packaging. The box arrived from England in perfect condition. Inside was a large amount of packing peanuts to protect the two 50g sample packs. The pouch shown here is bright and cheery despite my lighting. I do find two flaws with the bag.

First, there are no steeping parameters. Unless it is a real finicky tea requiring special handling (which this is not) then this is not that big of a deal. I will note that the brewing instructions are listed along with the description on the website.

The second requires a little more effort. The bag is not resealable. 50g is a lot of tea and it will last me quite a while. I cut the top off, folded the bag down and paper clipped it. Not the best, but I don't have an empty tin to dedicate to this one.

Moving right along, after cutting the top, I gave it the sniff test. The scent is soooo calming. It is definitely orange - not the candy fake kind - along with some subtle warming spices. Honestly, even if I end up hating this (not likely) the leaf would make an awesome room freshener.

Looking at a scoop of leaf, I notice a lot of small black tea pieces, an orange piece, a cardamom pod, pieces of apple, pink peppercorns, and coriander seed. I have to look harder to see the cinnamon. Maybe I could see the cloves if I knew what I was looking for. I can definitely smell it lightly.

I opted to use the French press to brew my English tea, that probably started in India (the plants of which can be traced back to China), and I'm steeping it in America. I feel so International.

I used boiling water and a 4 minute steep.

The brew pours a typical orange red color. It still smells incredibly delicious.

The taste is lighter, gentler, than I expected. Based solely on the ingredients, I expected a chai assault of spices. Nope. Just like the aroma, this is mainly a pleasant orange tasting tea with the spices filling out the flavor rather than trying to steal the stage.

The flavor kind of goes orange, cinnamon and clove, cardamom, then drifts into the slightest heat from the pink peppercorn. So subtle but a nice touch. It has a sweet lingering aftertaste.

After initially tasting this with no additions I did add sweetener. I don't think it necessarily needed it, I just wanted it that way. It takes sweetening in stride. To me, it makes all the delicious flavors pop a little more.

I don't think I have ever had an orange cookie, so I can't make that cookie connection, however, this is such a pleasant cup. I can see myself curling up on the couch this winter with a blanket, a book, and a cup of this one.

You can find Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company Orange Cookies here.

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