The Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

78

Since learning about the importance of Russians in extending the tea ceremony as we know it in UK nowadays, I´m really fascinated by the use of the samovar . I imagine it´s quite similar to the old habit to always have a pot of coffee or even soup simmering on the stove (which was also the heating of the farmhouse)…and so I wanted to find out about this tea, especially how it might keep its character when not using a samovar.
It´s indeed a bolder tea but honestly, I expected it to have even a stronger character. Great breakfast tea, and smooth enough to enjoy at other moments as well.

If you want to brew it the traditional way (with a samovar), The Kent&Sussex Tea&Coffee Co. gives its guidelines : “However, should you wish to explore the use of a Samovar when brewing this tea, we suggest following these simple steps:
First, bring water to a boil inside the Samovar. Traditional Samovars have a metal pipe running vertically through the middle which is filled with solid fuel such as pine cones, charcoal, and wood chips to be burned.
Rinse the inside of a teapot with boiling water from the Samovar, then while the teapot is still hot add 3 tablespoons of our delicious Russian Samovar Tea.
Immediately cover the teapot and allow the steam to condition the tea leaves.
After a few seconds, add boiling water from the Samovar to the pot, this time enough to brew the leaves.
Steep for up to 15 minutes. This is traditional.
Serve and enjoy!”

Flavors: Smoke, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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82

Since quite a while, I´m planning a visit to Sri Lanka, but due to the awful events this Easter Sunday, I think I´ll put my plans aside for some time. In meantime, I´ll enjoy the wonderful teas Sri Lanka produces.
As I´m also in the process of discovering teas beyond the “standard” black and greens, I was curious to try this Sri Lankan oolong tea.

From the website of The Kent&Sussex Tea&Coffee Co. :
Type of Tea: Orthodox Large Leaf Oolong Tea.
Origin: The Moragalla Tea Estate, Galle province, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).
Brewing Instructions: Brew using freshly boiled water left to cool to temperatures between 75 and 80 C. Infuse for 2 to 3 minutes.
How to Serve: This beverage tastes best without any additions. Some, however, choose to add a slice of lemon for a citrusy kick.
Tasting Notes: Moragalla Ceylon Oolong Tea consists of malty, almost roasted notes.
Colour in Cup: Golden-brown liquor, light in tone.

The first time I brewed this tea, I followed the instructions and found the tea quite weak. Now I try to steep it at 80ºC for a bit longer (4-5 minutes) or even use slightly hotter water. If you like malty teas, this is really wonderful. Unlike Kenyan teas which tend to be malty in a “concentrated” dense way (difficult to explain, but definitely something I like over breakfast), this tea is malty in an elegant, quite subtle way. After drinking my first mug, I also tend to steep the same tea leaves a second time (very easy as I use a mug with take-out filter for the loose tea) at the same temperature but for an even longer time. Results are good. However, I don´t recommend a third use as the brew gets to be very watery indeed. Normally after the 2nd steeping session the leaves will have folded open, so you can even visually prepare your tea.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
ashmanra

Will wonders never cease! A Ceylon oolong is new to me!

Ilse Wouters

Indeed, that´s why I bought it in the first place. Different (malty!), but I think I prefer the “standard” oolong though…

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74

I loved this blend, its super sweet, creamy and gentle. I’m just a little sad that it didn’t cold brew well as it would have been perfection for summer. No matter. Still great hot and I don’t mind telling you it pairs faultlessly with milk chocolate. Tried and tested. ;)

For more on this blend: http://www.tastethetea.co.uk/2016/05/19/cdo/

Flavors: Cream, Orange, Vanilla

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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89

A very malty Assam tea. It tastes almost as good as loose leaf, which is surprising for such a decently priced tea bag tea. My advice is to brew it in non-hard water – filter it if you can. I have yet to try it in hard water.

The taste is fairly strong, pleasant and the aftertaste is gentle and pleasant. I very much recommend this tea, and shall try it loose leaf sometime.

My last tip – brew it for 4 minutes at least for maximum taste

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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87

First to note is that I’m drinking from the tea bags and not the loose leaf, however I do think it’s worth reviewing it in bag form. This tea is quite simply marvellous. It might not be as fine tasting as a more expensive tea such as teapigs, or wearetea.com, but is certainly a measure above other teas in this price bracket. It is strong and malty, with a rich aftertaste and a very pleasant sensation post-drinking.

Be careful not to stew though. It can be too bitter when stewed.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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100

ctc tea. mix of assam/kenya black tea.
best in the world IMHO.
very smooth, no tannine. strong, comforting cuppa.

cannot be without. buy per 500gr/1 kg.
order next batch when less than 150 gr. left in my home.

no 1. on my take-with-me-on-a-desert-island list!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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I’m going to be doing a bunch of possibly pointless, definitely uninteresting to anyone but me, notes about straight-up strong black Irish/English blends. No ratings for the time being, but at some point.

This — I find confounding (though it’s not alone, as everything about this applies to a couple of Bewley’s teas that aren’t in the database yet). I don’t get a loose leaf tea that’s – as far as my understanding goes – made to be a perfect teabag tea. This is tiny CTC tea – possibly the tiniest bits I’ve come across, and the only way I can make a decent cup of tea is to put it in a teabag. Otherwise, too much dust and you can’t strain it well, and it gets bitter & overly astringent in a flash. So I’m getting a very high quality teabag, by filling one of the huge ones – plenty of room for leaves to move – but I’d rather get a loose-leaf tea when I buy a loose-leaf tea! Taste is good if not mind-blowing, and it is nice and strong.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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64

Just finished the last of this off and will have to do a few, “let me be fair” type comments to qualify my meh rating. First thing is that I was probably looking for – not a replacement – but an everyday, cheaper version of Yumchaa’s Chilli Chilli Bang Bang. That’s just not fair to most teas! Also, silly of me to try this one probably, as I’d never put orange biscuits in my gingerbread. Had it had any noticeable ginger flavours, a bit of orange might have been okay, but all I got from this was a rather faint generic citrus fruit. It should have had more taste, as there really are big bits of almond, peppercorns, and ginger is hardly an expensive ingredient to add to your gingerbread tea! (Actually, my bad again for not thinking harder about that ingredient list.) I’m guessing Yumchaa’s rooibos base is a lot better too, as if I weren’t looking at the tea, but drinking on a blind taste test, I don’t think I’d know it was rooibos.

All in all, not offensive in any way, but not something I’ll buy again.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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76

The ingredient list is a bit odd – not sure what “China Sencha” is, for one thing. But this is a nice tea all the same. Smells just like creamsicle in the tin, sweetly creamy and vanilla-orangey! And it is a pretty tea, if not quite as elegant as the picture on the website would suggest. That may be a good thing though, as a piece of orange that big and full of peel might add a bitterness the tea doesn’t have at all. Taste is more flavoured green tea than creamsicle, which is a good thing, and it’s a nice smooth tea base, whatever it is. Still doesn’t taste quite as good as it smells, though it’s very tasty. I’ll keep experimenting, and will be reordering when I finish the small size order I got first.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec
cteresa

I got a few chinese sencha based teas. I think it is sencha like tea but not made in Japan and as such cheaper. I am a bit divided about it, some chinese sencha is not so nice, BUT I am a peasant who often thinks japanese teas are too oceanic (that is fishy or seaweedy. really)

Hallieod

Interesting – the kind of naming the EU would clamp down on instantly, by the sound of it! I’ll have to have a root through my Jane Pettigrew and see if she mentions any Chinese senchas. I will definitely be looking out for fish and/or seaweed notes in my next sencha drinking. :)

cteresa

There is a pretty precious tea shop in Portugal which specializes on japanese teas and they describe sometimes some teas as having seaweed notes which is truly offputting (though why? spinach note is almost a cliché for some chinese greens).

About denominations, I dunno! I think sencha might also be the type of tea, or if it´s steamed or roasted or whatever…

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80

Name: Assam Harmutty Second Flush
Supplier: The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company
Origin: Harmutty Tea Estate

Notes on Tea When Dry: Very small leaves with alot of golden tips.

How Prepared: 3 heaped tsp in ball infuser for pot
Water Temperature: 90ºc/195ºF
Steep Time: 4 mins

Colour: Pours Dark Golden
Aroma: Malty

Tasting Notes:

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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95

An excellent black tea. A lovely blend of Assam and Kenya tea. It has a very smooth taste. Very pleasant as a breakfast tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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