Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee CompanyEdit Company
Popular Teas from Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee CompanySee All 47 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
This is the 2nd first flush darjeeling of my last order at Kent&Sussex. Oh boy, what a treat! More intense in taste, if you can say it this way for an elegant tea like a first flush darjeeling. Even the dry leaf looks very nice, green and more homogeneous in size, and it opens up nicely as well during the steeping process.
I tried to steep it a 2nd time, and then it definitely is worse, less forgiving as well concerning the bitterness, but it still is a good tea, although not as great as the first steep ;-) I guess I might try steeping it less at first, and then the 2nd steep is possibly better, but then again, the first one might not be so nice…loads of options here!
A bit of extra info from K&S :
Established in 1871, the Chamong Tea Estate takes its name from the local Lepcha people, who once called a vocal bird living nearby “Chamoo.” Tea covers 132 hectares (330 acres) of the garden, located at altitudes between 1,150 to 1,850 metres (3,770-6,070 feet) above sea level.
Flavors: Floral, Muscatel, Tea
In my last tea order at Kent&Sussex I included two 2021 first flush darjeelings. This Balasun Tea Estate one is the first one to try.
From K&S website :
Darjeeling First Flush Balasun 2021 is a Loose Leaf Black Tea from the Darjeeling District of West Bengal, India.
The Balasun Tea Estate was founded in 1871, its name deriving from the river that flows at the bottom ridge of the garden. It lies at altitudes between 1,600 and 4,600 feet above sea level, near the town of Sonada.
An estimated 100,000kg of Organic Darjeeling Tea is produced from 181.38 hectares (448.2 acres) of Tea-growing land annually. This particular Tea was plucked and processed in late March.
The Balasun Tea Garden has an excellent reputation for producing full-bodied infusions with grassy undertones.
Fortunately, these grassy undertones are quite subtle, at least in mouth as they are definitely there in nose (of dry tea leaves). The tea is indeed full-bodied, but I have the impression it´s slightly less complex than other first flush darjeelings. I steep it twice for 4 minutes each, with a similarly good result every time. Also it seems a forgiving tea, as I once forgot about it (and so it steeped for maybe 8 minutes) and the brew hadn´t turned bitter.
Flavors: Grassy, Muscatel, Tea
How I love the sweet aroma of elderflower! And I was looking for that aroma in this tisane, when I decided to buy it. Although the tisane is nice enough, with lemongrass coming through in the first place besides lemon peel, it´s clear that the main fruit used is apple which sort of mutes what one can smell and taste here. Also, I see now in the list of ingredients that elderflower is not listed, elderberry is, and that makes a huge difference! I used to pick elderberries to make a syrop, but it´s difficult not to obtain a dense texture, so I stopped making it; what I still prepare is an elderflower cordial (great with gin tonic!!!), and when I´m in the middle of making this cordial, my kitchen always smells so lovely of elderflower and citrus fruit, a great combination. A shame. Over the Summer, I need to give this tisane a try when iced.
Flavors: Apple, Lemon Zest, Lemongrass
I´m not a huge green tea fan, but I keep on tasting green teas, in the hope I´ll be able to be blown away by one ;-) …and this might well be the one!
Wow, green tea alright, but with so much complexity, good mouthfeel, nothing too subtle for me to appreciate (it has happened to me before with superb green teas, where I cannot “get it”)! The leaves are narrow and bright, and allow for a great second steep as well.
When I was deciding on the teas to order from this great tea company, I was looking into the Korean teas they offer. For a few years ago, I had a tea after my meal in a Korean restaurant, and although that one was a red tea, and in a teabag, it was great (must have been the best tea ever for me in a restaurant), but at the restaurant they couldn´t give me more information about it, so since then, I have this fascination to try out Korean teas).
This is the info on K&S T&C co :
It is widely known as ‘sparrows tongue’ for its small, sharp, pointed leaf which is a vibrant, bright green in appearance. The term ‘Woojeon’ literally translates to ‘before it rains’ as this second flush green tea is picked before the rainy season.
It is grown on the volcanic island of Jejudo which is the only place that has won a triple-crown – Biosphere Reserve in 2002, World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 2007 and Geological park in 2010 – from UNESCO in the natural environment field, making the most of the salty sea breeze and the fertile volcanic soil.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Green, Nutty
From Kent&Sussex Tea&Coffee Co website :
Sikkim 1st Flush Tea is a rare, fascinating Indian Black Tea FTGFOP1 from the Himalayan State of Sikkim. The area lies near to Darjeeling district, hence why the taste of this infusion is somewhat comparable to that of its neighbour.
It consists of a well-made leaf with ample tip, which, when brewed, boasts a bright liquor with a beautifully rounded floral character.
Only two Tea Estates lie within Sikkim. Our Sikkim First Flush Tea comes from the Temi garden, the oldest and most prestigious of the two.
Indeed very similar to a Darjeeling, but this tea already stands out when looking at its colour (copper), and in nose it seems sweeter. In mouth, it has a denser mouthfeel (I don´t really know how to describe this, but it seems you´re also eating something at the same time), which gives it a definite “morning cuppa” character ;-) .
I gave it a second steep as well, but it seems to lose quite a lot of character, so won´t do it again.
Flavors: Flowers, Sweet
Kenya teas tend to be strong and malty, and when smelling the aroma´s of the dry leaves this is confirmed. Also steeped the strong fragrance keeps on, but in mouth it´s far less strong than what its fragrance makes you believe! The maltiness is present (it even reminds me a bit of some pu erh teas), which makes it – for me at least – the perfect breakfast tea, but it´s lighter than what I expected (from experience with other Kenya and Tanzania teas), more adapted to Summer, I can pleasantly add.
Unlike the recommendation (see below) of having it with milk, I always drink my teas black and this is a wonderful tea to enjoy black, as it seems more delicate and complex than standard breakfast teas.
Info on K&S C&T co website :
Kenya Kaimosi GFBOP Tea
The Kaimosi Tea Estate is situated by thick forest, on the edge lies the Sirwa river and the South Nandi Forest. This tea echoes that of an Assam but with less bite, it makes a perfect Breakfast Tea. Sunny warm mornings paired with regular rainstorms creates a briskness in this tea which is light and enjoyable.
Type of Tea- Orthodox Black Tea
Origin- North Nandi Disrict, Kenya, Africa
Leaf Grade- Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe
Altitude- 6000 Feet Above Sea Level.
Brewing Guide- Use boiling water (100 degrees) Infuse for 3-5 minutes
How to Serve- Serve best with milk.
Flavors: Malt, Tea
Another breakfast tea by Kent&Sussex I only opened when finishing my previous breakfast tea (Tanzanian BOP).
Very enjoyable breakfast tea, malty enough to have a real wake-up call, but more elegant (better balance between Assam and Kenya teas?) than the standard breakfast teas. The loose leaf is less cut up, which also might add to this impression.
From K&S tea&coffee co. :
Welsh Breakfast Tea BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe) is a Black Tea Blend that goes hand in hand with our English, Irish and Scottish Breakfast Teas.
It consists of leaves from the Dufflaghur Estate in the Sonitpur District of Assam, India, as well as Kenya in East Africa. Such a combination is, put simply, exquisite, providing a deep malty aroma with distinct nutty notes.
Then there is its caffeine content, which amounts to around 45-mg per 8-oz cup. Better still, according to evidence from countless scientific studies, it comes with Black Tea benefits.
Regardless of whether you’re Welsh, our Welsh Breakfast Tea BOP is bound to impress from first to last sip. We pack it fresh to order here at our Kent-based factory, ensuring quality and consistency, time and time again.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Malt, Tea
So, there we are, trying this tisane iced…and I like it even better than last year´s summer iced tea (jamaican rum iced fruit tisane, also from Kent&Sussex), so I change its rating ;-)
The way I prepare iced tea is as follows : I put on a pot of tea, leave the loose tea infuse for hours (overnight ideally), and I then put the liquid in a soda bottle in the fridge. This way, you only need a small amount of tea to get a strong taste, and a bag of 100g normally gets me through the season alright (and the season for iced tea is long in Madrid!) Almost no fuss to make it, which is absolutely fine by me.
The blood orange comes through very nicely in this iced tea, which makes it a citrusy lemonade without the over-the-top acidity or sweetness (for those who generously add sugar to their home made lemonade) and the added bonus being the definite taste of blood orange. Love it!
And Bird&Blend just mailed me to say that it is National Iced Tea Day in UK, so isn´t that a nice coincidence!!!
Flavors: Blood Orange, Citrusy, Fruity, Rosehips
Last year´s fruit tisane I use over Summer to have iced tea is almost gone, so I made sure I ordered a new variety from Kent&Sussex Tea&Coffee Co to try out this year. So far, I´ve only had it hot, and I must say it stood the test. I love blood oranges, and we´re still in season, so I am currently enjoying them fresh. However, their season is short and it is hard to find a tisane with a true to taste blood orange addition. This one performs quite well, and I´m eager to try it out in iced tea shape! The rosehip and hibiscus don´t overwhelm the rest, which is great.
Flavors: Blood Orange, Citrusy, Hibiscus, Rosehips
Orange and eucalyptus rooibos, and that´s not only the name, also the perfect summary of the experience of having this tea : menthol and fruity in nose and mouth with the rooibos taking care of the texture and body.
As I´ve been spending quite some time o my terrace the last few days, this is a perfect companion as it is summer-y and fresh.
Flavors: Fruity, Menthol, Rooibos, Summer
I was very curious about this infusion, so I decided to buy a pouch. Of course, preparing this tisane is a treat for the nose, as especially the dry buds smell wonderfully. The steeping takes longer with this tisane (5 to 10 minutes is recommended by Kent&Sussex Tea Co.), and the colour changes throughout the steeping process : surprisingly, it starts darker blue and ends up clearer near colourless. The typical lavender aroma´s change as well and I even find myself noticing a sort of antiseptic smell, which I´m not so fond of. Maybe 10 minutes of steeping is too long, as in mouth a definite wood taste comes through. Will try to steep only 5 minutes next time, to compare.
Flavors: Lavender, Wood
The last time I ordered at Kent & Sussex Tea Co., I decided to buy a few new (for me) teas to try out, and amongst them this Nepalese tea. I´m quite sure I´ll order more of it!
Very good quality loose leaf, black tea which has a definite green appearance. In nose dry and brewed a sweet touch is the first to come through, and then a minty freshness, all very subtle and what I often describe as “elegant”. I should take it in china cupa, really ;-)
Flavors: Mint, Sweet, Tea
A small pouch of this tea came as a present with my last order at Kent&Sussex Tea co. It looks autumn-y with the red streaks running through the tea leaves, which already put me in the mood ;-) I needed to think a bit before I could name the main aroma coming through : not redcurrant so much as cassis! Not too fond of the taste of cassis, I was thrilled to note that in mouth cassis had made place for redcurrant, yes, giving a crisp zing to the tea. I really like it, and in no time I will run out of this sample, I think!
Flavors: Berry, Black Currant, Tea
Since a few years, I get a Belgian caramel pu erh in a tea shop in León, Spain, but when I was there about 2 months ago (just before the town went in lockdown because of covid19), I couldn´t get more of that particular blend (I had a wonderful almond pu erh though), and I decided to include a Scottish variant in my last order at Kent&Sussex Tea Co.
The loose tea definitely smells caramel like, a bit sweeter than the Belgian caramel pu erh I´m used to. Once brewed, the sweetness has made place for
spicy notes which makes it very enjoyable at this time of year. A very nice afternoon tea indeed.
Flavors: Caramel, Spices, Toffee
This is a (generous) sample The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co sent me with a previous order. They write about it on their website :
Oolong Formosa is a Speciality Tea which originates from the mountains of Taiwan. After plucking the loose leaf teas are fermented to approximately 50% and then wilted in the sun. Frequent turning of the tea in bamboo baskets during the drying process allows the Oolong to develop a mild aroma and large wild curly leaves. This Loose Leaf Tea is a real treasure.
Brewing instructions: Brew for 2 – 3 minutes with water just off boiling ( 80 – 90 degrees ).
When brewed, it smells like a good “English” tea (i.e. how the typical black tea brewed and served in England – before adding milk to it, of course – smells) to me. Fortunately, in taste it doesn´t disappoint : it´s mild and easy to drink, while having a solid body and mouthfeel and little bitterness. I have tasted better oolong teas, but this is probably one that can please even the people who aren´t into tea.
From the Kent&Sussex Tea&Coffee Co website : Fantastic individually wrapped Chinese Tea Cake. Made from Pu erh Tea. This highly unusual tea cake is a compacted Black Tea. 5g of Black Tea enough to make a good large pot of tea. Very nice deep rich flavour.
Brewing instructions : For mini tea cake, brew for 1 min wth water of 80 degrees, these can have between 5-6 further infusions.
I bought these as my previous (and first overall) experience with mini pu erh tea cakes was very positive. I don´t know whether it´s the same tea as in my first experience (most likely not) but I encountered some differences : although the steeping is carried out with water at 80ºC for 1 minute (vs 100ºC for min. 2 minutes), the resulting tea is far darker; it´s easier to drink (smoother, less peaty), but in a way it seems more mainstream (or at least it gives that impression to me). I´ve already reused the tea cake twice (it broke completely down during the 2nd steeping session) but there´s still no need to change steeping time as the resulting brew is still very dark and hasn´t changed its intensity yet. Tomorrow I´ll be reusing the tea cake even more…
So, resuming this experience for now (for reasons of comparison, I´ve indicated the conditions of my previous experience as well) : I heated water to 100ºC and had it cool down to 80ºC, before pouring it on the mini tea cake (last time, I used the freshly boiled water to give the mini cake a quick rinse of 10s max. and immediately poured new boiling water on the mini cake which I then steeped for 2 minutes). I used a ceramic mug with a (ceramic) tea filter which can easily be taken out, so I just withdrew the filter and the loosened cake in the filter was immediately ready for a second brew. About an hour later I steeped the pu erh a second time, by pouring freshly boiled + cooled down to 80ºC water over the tea filter in the mug. I steeped it again for 1 minute (last time I used freshly boiled water and had it steep for 2.5 minutes) and the colour of the tea was similar to the first brew. Not a lot of change in taste and smell either. This applies equally for 3rd brew (last time I added 30s of steeping time with every reuse of the mini cake, but the colour went down from the 3rd brew onwards, and the 5th brew was clearly inferior, with almost no colour developping).
Flavors: Mushrooms, Peat
Flavors: Fruity, Spices, Sweet
Day four of the stupid flu, it shows no signs of going away, and the last couple of days have passed in a bit of a fugue. I had to break out the big guns of Day and Nyquil and I am not pleased about it since now I have flu medicine derp on top of flu derp. The derp is real and certainly not how I wanted to start off the new year or my return to blogging after a vacation. But, as they say, the show must go on…all I can hope is that the show makes sense when I read it again later!
Today I am looking at The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co’s Black Tower Tea, a fun blooming style tea usually made from Yunnan Hong Cha (ones I have had in the past were, this one specifically does not say, but it looks and tastes like a Dianhong) and it will be very hard to not call this tea Barad Dur, since you know, Black Tower. I also see this tea named Black Pagoda (which reminds me of the movie Dragon Tiger Gate) and Black Pyramid (which reminds me of Thundercats) seriously the various names for this tea remind me of so many bits of pop-culture that it is ridiculous. The aroma of the little towers is classic Dianhong with notes of yams, malt, toffee, roasted peanuts, and molasses. It is sweet and rich with just a touch of nuttiness to tie the sweet notes together.
I decided to brew one tower in my carved serpentinite 90ml gaiwan, the aroma of the slowly unfurling tower (it now looks like a sea monster) is quite sweet with strong notes of molasses, malt, sweet potatoes, a touch of dried cherries, and toffee. I love the toffee note, a lot of times I run into molasses and brown sugar, but not often in a way more reminiscent of straight up candy. The aroma of the first steep is a little creamy, like toffee and yams, reminding me a bit of a sweet potato pie and a sprinkling of dried cherries. It is quite a sweet aroma with a mild richness.
So, if you want a hongcha that focuses more on other notes usually present and not the strong chocolate burst many Dianhongs are famous for, this is a good pick. There is a hint of cocoa, but mostly the first steep is all about yam, malt, dried cherries, and toffee. The malt is fairly mild, mostly the tasting notes focus on the sweet starchy yams rather than the richness of the other notes. The mouthfeel is smooth and light, not too thick but also quite present. For the aftertaste you get a lingering note of candied yams, not too long lasting, but distinct.
The second steep brings a much more sea creature like a tower, it has fully unfurled at this point. The aroma is sweeter, somehow, definitely strong toffee and candied yams with a lingering hint of dried cherries. As expected the taste is more intense, sweeter notes of toffee and toasted peanut really reminding me of peanut brittle with a touch of dried cherry and strong lingering yams. The aftertaste is a lingering yam note that lasts longer than the previous steep.
The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth steep all really sing the same siren song of Dianhong goodness, strong yams and toffee, gentle malt, ghostly cocoa, mellow cherries, and a slight hint of black pepper and woodiness. I was glad that this tea lasts a while, I found the notes being sweet and almost dessert-like made these entertaining towers a great afternoon or evening tea over a breakfast tea (though you all know me, I drink whatever whenever) so yes, I have drank this tea both in the morning and right before bed.
I am having such a hard time focusing today, still stuck in giddy, giggly ‘just married’ mode, but since Ben had to go back to work, it is only fair that I do the same. It is great though, well except that my giddiness has taken my already limited attention span and made it even smaller, it is a small price to pay! I will say one thing, my luck with cracking Magic packs kinda sucks. As a belated birthday present to myself I used a bit of the money received to buy six packs of Eldritch Moon (my current favorite set) from Amazon at a really good price. Now I don’t think they were repacked, but man, the draws were awful, I only got one card I really have any use for (Cryptbreaker) and nothing but junk rares. For the most part though, my luck for pulling pricey rares is pretty awful, having only twice pulled ones worth more than $5, one was Grim Flayer which I traded for a lot of store credit at Card Kingdom which in turn paid for all the singles I needed for both my Zombie deck and my Control deck. Maybe I will use my new pile to make a deck in some other color than Black…maybe Black White or Black Blue! Can you tell I like playing Black?
Since I have no attention span, I am going to focus on a relaxing tea that doesn’t require many steepings to describe, a nice herbal blend! Lullaby Tea by The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffe Co, a blend of Apple Pieces, Linden Flowers, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Rose petals, Sweet Blackberry Leaves, Orange Blossoms, and Mallow Blossoms. Three things caught my eye when I saw this blend, there is no mint, chamomile, or hibiscus…all things that I am frankly quite sick of in herbal blends, and of course things that I am only moderately tolerant of taste-wise. I love herbal blends, not for any health reasons, but because herbs, flowers, and random plants are a great way to expand the taste palate and often taste really fascinating. When I was a kid I would rummage around in the garden selecting edible plants to blend into odd concoctions to drink, just because I wanted to explore more random tastes, since smell and taste are my favorite ways to interact with the world. The aroma is very much so a flower garden, notes of roses, lavender, orange blossom, pollen, hay, and a blend of herbaceous lemony goodness as the base, being an undertone to all the other notes. The herbaceous note gives a slightly savory quality which keeps the flowers from being too strong and cloying, it is well balanced, which is hard with such strong flowers as rose and lavender.
Into a steeping basket the blend goes, the aroma of the steeped herbs is flowery with notes of lavender and roses, but also peppery, citrusy, and herbaceous adding a green and savory quality. It is not at all too flowery, which is nice, the lavender is mild and not soapy, which is good. I love lavender but it can get too strong at times. The liquid is sweet and green, notes of lavender, roses, and orange blossoms with pollen, honey, and a peppery herbaceous finish. It is like flower nectar and leaves, like an entire plant!
The taste is lovely, exactly what I want from an herbal blend! Notes of gentle flowers, primarily roses and lavender with a hint of orange blossoms, sweet honey and pollen, a general wildflower taste, and a touch of ghostly mallow blossoms. After this initial burst of flowers is a midtaste of green blackberry leaves and a peppery and lemony herbal note that is unmistakably the linden flowers and lemon balm I am tasting. The lavender comes back in the finish and lingers into the aftertaste, and it, of course, sticks around quite a while since lavender is like that. The mouthfeel was surprisingly thick and almost viscous, which I found soothing since it is one of my favorite ways for a hot drink to feel. This could very easily become a favorite herbal blend, combining some of my favorite flowers and plants!
A slight almond aroma, mingled with strong spicy notes, invites a very Christmassy feel. The flavour is a mild black tea, robust notes of spices and a gentle undernote of orange. Unfortunately, the almond doesn’t transfer from smell to taste, making it very similar to many other spiced Christmas teas. Overall, still an nice warming cup.
For more: www.TastetheTea.co.uk
Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Orange, Spices
Despite the fact I knew the smell was obviously artificial, I just wanted to live in it. I wanted to eat the entire contents. I wanted to satisfy my watering mouth, and trust me, it watered A LOT!
Strawberry is the predominant note, but is laid back in comparison to the aroma, enabling it to mingle with the buttery toasted flavours of genmaicha. There is a slight synthetic taste but this is easily disguised and ignored.
Traditionally, Genmaicha was served hot and used as a meal replacement for the poor or those who were fasting, so it’s fair to assume that this blend was developed with hot brews in mind.
It’s safe to say my preference lay with the hot version of this tea, the toasted rice combining perfectly to create a cosy blend that’s well suited to ice cold, sunny winter days. Overall, a fun, fruity and very British twist on the traditional Genmaicha tea.
For more on Strawberry Genmaicha: https://tastethetea.co.uk/2016/09/23/strawberry-genmaicha/
Flavors: Butter, Fruity, Rice, Strawberry, Toasted Rice
For full tasting notes see: http://www.tastethetea.co.uk/2016/03/24/pu-erh-vintage/
The smells surrounding this tea are heavy with earth. When brewed, this becomes reminiscent of a wet, warm day, emitting a humid exotic scent. Close your eyes, breathe deep and it’s easy to image yourself away in a rain forest.
This is one of those great teas that holds flavour through multiple steeps, the second and third brews releasing the deepest flavours. I found the more I drank, the more I appreciated the quality of the heavy bodied, earthy tone.
Flavors: Bark, Earth, Forest Floor, Rainforest, Wet Earth, Wet Moss
Ive Just been drinking this after the 2014 Thurbo, which has some really serious flavour & decent thick aroma, it didnt really stand a chance.
This doesnt have the same body, its lighter and thinner, more flowing. Deeper muscatel aroma (for a FF) but also woody and not as fruity, syrupy or floral tasting as I like.
Reminded me of Roobois a bit, end result was me trying to push the flavour, which is a recipe for disaster. When the astringency comes out the sweetness is still delicate, so there is no counterbalance & the sour just took over a bit too much.
Possibly nice if brewed for a delicate cup before bringing out something with punch.
Flavors: Citrus, Muscatel, Pleasantly Sour, Sour