REVIEW: JusTea – Kenyan Black

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Tea: Pure black Kenyan tea from co-operative tea farmers
Sample provided by: JusTea
Retail price: 100 grams for $13.00 / 150 grams for $20.00
Link to Kenyan Black on JusTea website

My skepticism – perhaps even cynicism- is in full drive when I hear of charitable organisations giving away gifts in exchange for contributions. I’m sure we have all contributed to a charity that gives some sort of awful gift in return – like a paper-thin t-shirt, a clock that works for a week, some stale ‘European’ chocolates, a cheap pen, etc. Your heart is there to help, but you could definitely do without the gift.

But when it comes to tea being offered as a contribution gift, I can’t say no and I was excited to try JusTea’s teas. My skepticism radar, however, was in full gear for two reasons: first, even though I know JusTea’s project is a very worthwhile endeavour, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was going to get a packet of CTC Kenyan tea that is awful and I needed to write a review that attempted to find something nice to say about it. Second, I’m still not fully sold on Kenyan tea. I know loads of artisan teas are starting to come out of Kenya, including white and purple teas, and I need to try them, but most of my experience has been with CTC or fannings-like tea that is harsh.

Have I built any anticipation?

After receiving the tea from JusTea and opening the packet of the Kenyan Black, I knew I would have to push my skepticism and cynicism aside: from the aroma and the appearance of the dry leaf, I knew it was going to be better than good.

Dry leaf:
– It is unbelievably aromatic for a black tea
– The colour of the dry leaf is dark and rich
– While it is a broken tea, it is well sorted. It isn’t a CTC or some broken leaf tea that will clog a mesh infuser and leave all sorts of tiny bits at the bottom of your cup

Brewed tea:
– The colour of liquor is much lighter than I expected, even if the tea is brewed four to five minutes
– Like the dry leaf, the liquor is extremely aromatic
– The taste of the liquor is an assault on the senses, a party on the palate, a right cuppa, a brilliant brew. It is unbelievably fresh, and the complexity of the liquor, in my opinion, ranges from spicy to fruity to malty
– It has a wonderful lingering aftertaste

My conclusions/tips:
– Although a broken leaf tea, I think it is a versatile – it can be taken with or without milk
– This is definitely the best broken leaf Kenyan tea I have ever drunk. Hands down.

Score:
5/5

JusTea’s current campaign!
If you are interested in getting involved with JusTea’s campaign, check out their website. I wrote about JusTea in an earlier blog post, but they have recently launched a new campaign to raise $20,000 to build a processing kitchen so Kenyan tea farmers can process their own tea without having to go through middlepeople in the supply chain. Eliminating this link in the supply chain is vital, as profits immediately diminish if tea farmers have to sell their raw product to a middleperson who adds the value through processing it, and thus the real profit. This campaign ends on 18 October 2013 at 23.59 PST, so check it out today.

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About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
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