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Tuesday Tea - Kenyan Black - JusTea

Tea Description:

Our whole leaf Kenyan black tea is malty, fresh, clean and full bodied. 

Ingredients:  Kenyan grown black tea

Other Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Purchase: JusTea

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 2 teaspoons per 12oz serving

Water Temp:  195°F

Steep Time:  3m


You may have noticed that Tuesday Tea is just a little bit early this week and there is a great reason for that. JusTea is kicking off a month-long crowdfunding campaign with Fund Razr in order to raise $20,000 and we're going to help them spread the word a little. This is their second crowdfunding campaign, they successfully raised $13,804 during their indiegogo campaign which ran from May 14, 2013 - June 15, 2013. Tyrone from JusTea has provided me with samples of Kenya Black, which I will be reviewing here today, as well samples of African Chai and Kathryne Kenyan Earl Grey that will be reviewed on Steepster in the coming days.

Before we get into the tea review I want to tell you all a bit about JusTea. They are a Vancouver, based non-profit partnership which buys tea directly from Kenyan farmers. Did you know that Kenya is the largest exporter of black tea, yet local tea farmers see only about 1% of the money from those sales. JusTea's goal is to start a social justice movement and provide not just fair trade, but "Direct Trade" tea to the masses. Their goal is to teach Kenyan farmers how to had process their tea, rather than sending it to central processing factories. Eliminating the middle man will give farmers a chance to increase their profit by following the "Direct Trade" model. The crowdfunding campaign which launched on Sept. 16th and runs through October 18th is to raise the necessary capital for this venture. There are a number of tea related perks available for contributing to their campaign, so make sure you go check it out.

Now onto the tea.

I've given this a lot of thought today and I'm not entirely sure that I've had a tea from Kenya before, or if I have, it was not identified as such. The first thing that I noticed about this tea was the scent, it doesn't smell like any other black tea that I've had before. My preferred black tea is a very robust Yunnan which has a strong malty flavor and packs a punch. This tea however, has more of a nutty aroma with a hint of malt and a subtle sweetness. So while this is not at all what I am accustomed to, it sure does smell good. 

My impressions of this tea, based off my first few sips are actually pretty similar to the impression I formed based on the aroma. It has a nutty flavor with a hint of malt, but the sweetness is much more apparent in the brewed tea than it was with just the dry leaf. While the tea is hot I do pick up a hint of astringency, but not enough to bother me, only enough to make itself known. This fades almost completely as the tea cools to room temperature. 

I was not provided with suggested times for resteeping this tea so I opted to go with my default for black tea. My second steep was at 4m and produced a cup very similar to the first. I was surprised that this tea actually managed to gain sweetness in the second steep. The more I drink, the more I enjoy the almost fruity aspect of this tea.

I attempted a third steep at 5m, however the resulting brew did not retain much flavor. I was disappointed that I was only able to resteep this tea once. 

Cold steep:

Even though it was 45°F when I woke up (absolutely not iced tea weather) I decided that because this tea has such a wonderful natural sweetness to it I wanted to make a pitcher of iced tea using my normal cold steep method of 1 Tablespoon of leaf per 8oz water steeped for 6-8hours. This is actually why my post is so late tonight, I wanted to share there results with you. I think this particular tea really shines as an iced tea. They sweetness really stands out when cold steeped and there is no astringency to be had, producing a very refreshing glass of iced tea.

My Rating: 81/100 Want to better understand my rating system? Check out the about tab for more information.

Would I order this again? Possibly, but I would really need to be in the mood to drink this tea. I don't tend to drink much black tea. I first started drinking this tea at 8am and as I'm writing this it just dawned on me that I've been drinking the same tea non-stop for the last 12+ hours. This rarely happens, even when I'm working on a review. It is safe to say this tea has made an impression on me, but I was really disappointed to only have one resteep from it.


In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that this sample was provided to me free of charge by JusTea for my review. This tea review is coinciding with their month-long Fund Razr crowdfunding campaign. As always, all opinions are my own. If you are a company and would like to send me an item for review feel free to drop me an email.