drank Mt. Kenya Black by JusTea
3332 tasting notes

Sipdown! (21 | 368)

Finally drinking some tea from the JusTea trio sets I bought in September! We won’t discuss the fact that I just ordered their holiday trio a couple of days ago, without having tried any of their other teas. Oops? It’s hard to resist the combination of holiday tea, beautiful packaging, and supporting a great cause…

This is a very flavorful and high quality tea, but wasn’t a favorite for me. I’m not sure if it’s because it was next to their Earl Grey in the trio, but it has a very noticeable floral-esque sort of note to it for me. Which is odd because I read some of the other notes and didn’t see anyone mention that, so that’s why I’m wondering if it’s a scent contamination thing. Otherwise it’s fairly smooth, has a nice deep, slightly tart fruitiness to it and a hint of a vegetal note. Almost a bit winey, like a Qimen tea. It does remind me a bit of a Sri Lankan black tea as well, with that underlying “tea” flavor and metallic character.

Very nice tea though! I would be interested to try it again, in a format where it wasn’t stored next to the Earl Grey, and see if it tastes different.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Floral, Fruity, Grape Skin, Green Beans, Metallic, Perfume, Red Fruits, Red Wine, Smooth, Tart, Tea, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby-related things… ;)

~ 2023 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- February Sipdowns: 16
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 52

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I’ll also often use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, and honeybush. I love matcha and drink it often! Fruit tisanes are not a favorite, but I’m always willing to try them.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura, chamomile, and elderflower. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Companies:
LUPICIA!
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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